A Critical Introduction to Media and Communication Theory
Conclusion: Goffman as a Way of Life
c o n c l u s i o n Goffman as a Way of Life Goffman for Scholars It should be obvious by now that, although Erving Goﬀman never claimed to be a media and communication scholar, his work is definitely relevant to media and communication scholars, and has already served as a substantial resource for them (as documented extensively in chapter 3). There is little chance that most readers of this book will want to devote their entire lives to Goﬀmaneutics, as a few aca - demics scattered around the world do these days. But readers may want to put Goﬀman to good use in a course, a paper, or maybe even in a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. Here are a few suggestions for them. The sheer volume of Goﬀman’s writings may seem overwhelming. Despite this, do not read summaries in place of the originals: they leave out the juice. Goﬀman is a pleasure to read, so each day, just read a few pages of one of his papers, or one of his books. We suggest reading an early paper such as “The Nature of Deference and Demeanor” (1956b). When ready for a full book, start perhaps with Gender Ad- vertisements (1979b), which is full of pictures that help to make his argument, or a very moving book such as Stigma (1963b). Stick to the meaty books such as Behav- ior in Public Places and Asylums. Stay away from Frame Analysis and...
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