chapter  2
12 Pages

The Central Theme: Drama

In this chapter we will take up the central theme of this book, namely drama. The work of Erving Goffman will introduce the theme of drama, especially his book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.1 Berger and Luckmann's The Social Construction of Reality fills out and grounds GofFman's work in a thorough-going treatise in the sociology of knowledge, illuminating how knowledge is both a human construct and a generator of human action.2 Ernest Becker's work in The Birth and Death of Meaning and The Structure of Evil will be used to expand on Goffman's perspectives by his analysis of the socialization process from infancy onwards.3 With the groundwork laid for our understanding of how individuals, groups and whole societies carry on the social drama, we will turn briefly to the terms and metaphors from the world of drama as the basic tools for analyzing the drama of schooling.