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Erving Goffman was Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania until his death in 1982. He is recognized as one of the world's foremost social theorists and much of his work still remains in print. Among his classic books are The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life; Interaction Ritual; Stigma; Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity; and Frame Analysis. William B. Helmreich is a professor of sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and City College. He has written Against All Odds, The Enduring Community, Saving Children, and The Things They Say Behind Your Back all available from Transaction.
This book consists in two essays, one on "Expression Games:An Analysis of Doubts at Play" which deals with interpreting the intentions of the other when one cannot completely rely on their observable behavior. The second ' Strategic Interaction," centers on interpreting behavior in situations in which each player's action has effect on the other. Goffman here stresses how important the assessments we make of the behavior of others are in influencing our action. He places great emphasis on our assessment of real intention and action in the 'other' for our own behavior.
Goffman is the great poet of the sociology of everyday life. He helps us see things about ourselves and our actions, which become obvious when we are told about them, but which we never really thought of ourselves.
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