A Critical Introduction to Media and Communication Theory
3. Goffman in Communication
c h a p t e r t h r e e Goffman in Communication Chapter 1 introduced readers to Goﬀman as not just an author but an individual, focusing on the contexts within which his ideas were generated. Chapter 2 de- scribed the ideas as presented in Goﬀman’s own publications rather than in rein- terpretations by others. Chapter 3 will now discuss how others (especially communication scholars) have already made use of his publications, and how new scholars can further extend his work. As “arguably the most original American theorist of the second half of the twentieth century” (Kivisto & Pittman, 2008, p. 272) Goﬀman provided an over- abundance of ideas for himself and others to use in understanding social behavior. As described in chapter 1, Goﬀman was employed within both sociology and an- thropology departments; in addition to these disciplines, his work has substantially influenced research within linguistics, political science, psychology, and communi- cation. In keeping with this, it also should not be surprising that Goﬀman’s ideas have been integrated into nearly all subfields within communication. Despite his training in sociology, Goﬀman is sometimes viewed as so central to communica- tion research that he comes to be identified as a communication scholar (e.g., B. Hall, 1991). As with over-exuberant claims about his nationality (someone who lived, worked and published in the United States most of his adult life might be characterized as American, despite being Canadian), we assume this is a matter of...
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