Erving Goffman: A major theorist of power?

TitleErving Goffman: A major theorist of power?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsJenkins, R
JournalJournal of Power

This article argues that Erving Goffman’s interactional sociology offers many useful insights into what power is and how it actually works, and that in addition to his other reputations we ought to think of Goffman as a significant theorist of power. A critical Goffmanian approach potentially allows us to comprehend the normal, diffuse ubiquity of power while according full recognition to the practices of individuals, whether self‐conscious or habitual, rule‐observant or improvisational. How Goffman’s understanding of power may help us to understand the contemporary realities of the early twenty‐first century is also discussed.