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phalangingle in theoryishotcrew

Can I just substitute an interpretive dance in place of a list?

Although I am generally of the opinion that I would never be a member of a club that would have someone like me as a member, I decided to give this a try.

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  1. "Foucault" in "Dictionnaire des philosophes" 1984, - Maurice Florence


  1. Distinction - Bourdieu


  1. El Laberinto de la Soledad - Paz


  1. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life - Goffman


  1. Borderlands/La Frontera - Anzaldua


  1. The Interpretation of Cultures  - Geertz


  1. Aberrations in Black - Ferguson


  1. Ain't I a Woman  - bell hooks


  1. Giving an Account of Oneself - Butler


  1. Selections from the Prison Notebooks - Gramsci

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Ooooh, I haven't read that Goffman. Talk me through some of its highlights, and why you chose this one over his others
Goffman’s Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life aims to elaborate the dramaturgical dimension of social establishments. Performance is defined as “all the activity of an individual which occurs during a period marked by his continuous presence before a particular set of observers and which has some influence on the observers” (22). Observes do not have unmediated access to expressions of the individual self. Instead, observers only perceive the expressive equipment (body language, linguistic signs, etc) through which “expressions” of the subject are “expressed”. In Goffman’s terms this is the distinction between impressions given and those given off.

Social systems can be analyzed according to their technical, political, structural, and cultural components (240). All four of these components, however, require a performative enactment. For example, culture, conceived as norms and values, must be performed or dramatically realized in social interaction. Norms and values do not stand as free floating substances manipulating individuals.

Goffman’s insistence on the centrality of performance to social life, a central tenet of dramaturgical theory, leads him to elaborate the problematic assumptions underpinning the distinction between the “real” and the performative. Dramaturgy eschews the metaphysics of being in which an individual is said to be a certain social category. Rather than theorizing social categories as substances possessed by individuals, Goffman argues “To be a given kind of person, then, is not merely to possess the required attributes, but also to sustain the standards of conduct and appearance that one's social grouping attaches thereto” (75). Social categories and relationships are constituted only as a doing, not a static being¸ and thus the “real” is the impression realized in and through performance.

These are some of Goffman's approaches to analysis that are useful. This work, more so than his others, is also very entertaining. The book is filled with examples. The sailor who has just returned home from being away that asks his mother to "pass the fucking butter" is one that stands out. The sailor's role as a soldier and his performance of self is different from that expected from his mother.

In my brief discussion of PoS I offered mainly the more formal arguments Goffman makes. What I like about this text, and why I chose it, is that it makes arguments through offering a wide array of examples so that the concepts of "role" "social script" "unobserved observer" and the other theatrical metaphors Goffman uses become concrete and dynamic. Performance, more so than role enactment, is the focus of PoS.
I'd be interested in your take on Geertz' notion of culture as compared to Goffman's. Are they the same, different?
Thank you.
Do you think Goffman's dramaturgical analysis reduces power relations to self-sustaining functions? In other words, could you assimilate Goffman's mode of analysis to a Gramscian critique?
It's the most important one, that's why! What Goffman have you read?
Frame Analysis, Gender Advertisements (which I love) and part of Interaction Ritual.

I'm not a social scientist, I'm just in a border field, so my reading hasn't been extensive as it should be, probably.
I was actually kidding. "Presentation of Self" is a required reading for most sociologists, and only a few of us ever get beyond that to any of his other work. I've read bits of "Frame Analysis," but none of the other stuff.