Erving Goffman: A Biography. Essay

802 words - 3 pages

June 11, 1922 was a day that would change the world of sociology forever. This was the day that Erving Manual Goffman, czar of human interaction, was born. Goffman grew up in Dauphin, Alberta, Canada near Winnipeg (Manning 1998). He was the child of Max Goffman, a shopkeeper, and his wife Anna, a homemaker. His parents were two of some 200,000 Ukrainians who immigrated to Canada sometime between 1897 and 1914 (Manning 1998). Goffman attended the University of Manitoba in 1939 with an initial interest in chemistry. However, in 1934 and 1935 Goffman worked at the National Film Board in Ottawa where he met Dennis Wrong, a prominent sociologist at the time (Manning 1998). This was the spark he needed for him to continue on his true path of discovery that lead to the world of sociology. Goffman ended up leaving the University of Manitoba for the University of Toronto where he received a B.A. in Sociology in 1945 (Manning 1998). Goffman continued his education at the famous University of Chicago receiving both his masters and doctorate there (Gale Group2001). After doing an ethnographic study in Scotland for his doctoral dissertation he returned to Chicago and married Angelica Choate, a fellow University of Chicago student. Goffman's first and most well known and respected work is The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. This is where Goffman developed the idea of dramaturgy. His work focused on human interactions with each other in everyday social situations. Or in Goffman's words "detailing one sociological perspective from which social life can be studied, especially the kind of social life that is organized within the physical confines of a building or plant." (Goffman 1959) From his research he concluded that we all play "roles" in our everyday lives, and these roles vary from situation to situation as well asperson to person. In effect, the way we act when around our family is completely different from the "role" we play when out with our friends. Dramaturgy is still a widely accepted and studied phenomenon.After spending a great deal of time on Dramaturgy and human interactions Goffman turned his attention to the mental health industry with his work Asylums: Essays on the Social Situtation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates. Goffman was interested in finding out how individual...

Find Another Essay On Erving Goffman: A Biography.

Exploring the Affect Society has on the Shaping of Human Behavior

625 words - 3 pages There are numerous aspects of social interaction used in the shaping of social relationships. For the purpose of this paper, I thoroughly examined the theories of “Self-perception” and “Social perception “I decided to focus on the views given by Sociologist’s Erving Goffman and Charles Darwin throughout chapter four. According to sociologist Erving Goffman, social interaction should be compared to a theatrical performance, with the members of

--Social Stigma-- Question: Stigma Arises when others fail to meet with our normative expectations.

2095 words - 8 pages various devices they can put in place to cope with this life altering label.Firstly, to conquer the question of what stigma actually is let us first begin this discussion with a definition - "A powerfully negative social label that radically changes a person's self-concept and social identity". Erving Goffman identified three very different types of stigma. Firstly, he noted, there existed the disfigurement of the body, such as physical deformities

Presentation of Self Claim

510 words - 2 pages Erving Goffman’s Presentation of Self Claim Erving Goffman was a sociologist who studied and analyzed social interaction. He took special interest in explaining how people live their lives as if they were actors performing on stage. He looked at the world as if he were a “director” seeing what goes on in everyday life. He called this observation of the world dramaturgical analysis. He applied terms to this explanation, which include the

Compare and contrast two social science views about the ordering of social life.

1611 words - 7 pages Without knowing it, social order is very important in everyday life. As Elizabeth Silva says ‘social order is a key principle of living together’ (Reflections on Ordered Lives, 2009, Audio). The ordering of social life can be looked at in many ways. However, two theories stand out when looking at the making of social order, that of Erving Goffman and Michel Foucault. Both of these theories are concerned with how society is produced and, more

mead and symbolic interactionism

2569 words - 10 pages and is used in sociological analysis of everyday life. Developed by American sociologist Erving Goffman in his seminal 1959 text The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, dramaturgy uses the metaphor of theater to explain human behavior. According to this perspective, individuals perform actions in everyday life as if they were performers on a stage. Identity is performed through roles. Here, the term "role" works in two ways, referencing both

Dramaturgical Analysis

1548 words - 6 pages “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” William Shakespeare may have written these words in As You Like It in 1600, but Erving Goffman truly defined the phrase with his dramaturgical theory. Dramaturgical analysis is the study of social interaction in terms of theatrical performance. Unlike actors though, who use a script telling them how to behave in every scene, real life human interactions change depending upon

Interaction Ritual by Erving Goffman

1720 words - 7 pages Introduction Erving Goffman (1922-1982) held the position of Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as President of the American Sociological Association in the year leading up to his death in 1982. Goffman is considered as the pioneer of the study of face-to-face interaction and has made a substantial contribution to micro-sociology. He is recognised as a major figure in the


1980 words - 8 pages Goffman “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts…”Student of sociology, believe Erving Goffman could easily claimed to have made that statement just as Shakespeare is given due. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life details dramaturgy or as Goffman himself relates, “The Perspective employed in this report is that of the theatrical

Sociologist- Ervin Goffman

1898 words - 8 pages A) For many years, sociologists have been studying the importance of human interaction and how it contributes to society. Sociologist like Erving Goffman and Harold Garfinkel, and Max Weber have made great contributions to helping us understand how society is created through social interaction, routines, organization and order. In my report, I will be demonstrating how society and social order are maintained through social interaction, and

Stigma as a Process by Which the Reaction of Others Spoils Normal Identity

2637 words - 11 pages Stigma as a Process by Which the Reaction of Others Spoils Normal Identity The American sociologist, Erving Goffman, introduced into sociological discourse the notion of stigma. Stigma was used by the Greeks to mean a bodily sign inflicted upon a person to mark them as outcasts from normal society. However, due to Goffman's work, stigma has come to mean any "condition, attribute or trait which marks an individual as

Asylums by Erving Goffman

2284 words - 9 pages Alteration of Inner Self- based on Asylums by Erving Goffman. The essay contains the author's research, my opinion and Thomas Scheff's writings related to this theme.The nature of the humankind is extremely vulnerable to external factors and it develops different ways to protect its integrity. The image of 'self' is considered to be, to a certain extent, a result of the interactions with other people. Having its roots in the kind of behavior

Similar Essays

Erving Goffman Essay

1740 words - 7 pages Canada. I am a very proud Canadian and I am glad that such an influential social theorist whose work is still being put to use today came from the country that I am from. This paper will outline most, if not all, of Goffman’ss most important aspects to social life by providing you with his biography, his ideas, and how his ideas relate to the now, the twenty-first century. → ADD Biography Erving Manual Goffman was born in Mannville, Alberta

Compare Foucault’s Treatment Of The Insane With That Of Goffman’s On Asylums

1654 words - 7 pages When reading the works of both Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman, together they give a delineation of the discourse of madness. This essay delves into both of these renowned sociologists, in an attempt to explore both Michel Foucault’s finding on the treatment of the insane and Erving Goffman’s work on asylums. It begins with a very deep and archival aspect on Foucault’s part; where close attention was paid to the evolution of language, words

Stigma Notes On The Management Of Spoiled Identity

2115 words - 8 pages The book I chose to do my paper on is “Stigma Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity” by Erving Goffman. Goffman was stood out from other sociologists because he did not follow the normal rules that the others lived by. This rebellion often was thought to be caused by his lack of professional manners, and made it difficult for some to be in his company. However, Goffman was not like other sociologists due to his love was data not simply

Michel Foucault: Power And Identity Essay

2453 words - 10 pages Foucault’s work in The Body and Sexuality, Madness and Civilisation and Discipline and Punish which displays how he conceptualised Power and identity on a Marxist and macro basis of study. The Essay will also address the Ideas of Erving Goffman who was A Canadian Born Sociologist who’s key study was what he termed as interactional order, that is how the functions of ritual and order of every individual member of society, in everyday life, interact to