chapter  1
18 Pages

Introduction

Interpreting Goffman’s sociological legacy
WithGreg Smith

Few would doubt Erving Goffman’s right to a place in twentieth-century sociology’s pantheon. He was author of eleven books and some two dozen articles which, a decade and a half after his death in 1982, continue to fascinate readers both inside and outside the discipline of sociology. Always a controversial figure, it is not surprising that the many introductions, reviews and appreciations of his work do not tend towards consensus. Yet Goffman set out his project of exploring the social order of interaction clearly and unequivocally, and pursued it with singular resolve.