By Stephen Harold Riggins (ed.)
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Extra resources for Beyond Goffman: Studies on Communication, Institution, and Social Interaction
Goffman was not the only · Anglo-American sociologist to be influenced by Durkheim. In fact, since he did not trumpet it, Goffman's debt to Durkheim goes mainly unnoticed. It is the institutional leaders of Anglo-American sociology who have openly embraced Durkheim's work: Parsons, Blau, Coleman, Lipset, Merton. How can a new discipline which is founded upon, and insists in no uncertain terms upon, the principle of social determinism, take root and flourish in a society which thinks of itself as based on the opposing principle of individual liberty?
On page 25 of The Presentation of Self, 'Cf. Kenneth Burke's comments on the 'scene-act-agent ratio', A Grammar of Motives . . ' There are several other notes to Burke in Goffman's chapter on 'Discrepant Roles', which have nothing to do with the general framework. 11. There are, of course, strong historical reasons to bet that at least 1000 scientist man years will be spent 'proving' this statement Vrong'. The descent of the ego 39 References Burke, Kenneth 1957 The Philosophy of Literary Form, New York: Vintage.
The maintenance of this surface of agreement, this veneer of consensus, is facilitated by each participant concealing his own wants behind statements which assert values to which everyone present feels obliged to give lip service. Further, there is usually a kind of division of definitional labor (1959:9). Goffman's handling of the expressive aspects of everyday life, that which produces the fiction of a social consensus, is carefully derived from Burke's pentad of dramaturgical terms. The Scene of the action in Goffman's study is what he calls a region in a social establishment that is 'bounded to some degree by barriers to perception' [1959: 105].