The Currency of Goffman

The Currency of Goffman

Seminar poster

Series Name Media & Communication Research Seminar Series
Speaker Professor Espen Ytreberg
Type Lectures & Talks
When 09 Oct 2013, 04:00PM - 05:30PM
Venue Bankfield House Seminar Room, 132 New Walk
Open To Public
Ticket Price FREE
For Bookings Contact Dr Jonathan Corpus Ong, Department of Media & Communication, jco10@le.ac.uk

"My legacy will be, as it were in cash, distributed to many heirs, each transforming his part into use conformed to his nature: ause which will reveal no longer its indebtness to his heritage." This self-characterisation by Simmel could be used in the case of Erving Goffman also. His concepts (e.g. performance, impression management, region, frame) have served as sources of inspiration–often only partially acknowledged–for a wide range of media and communication research. In current research on digital and social media his work seems more popular than ever.

Why is that? The talk charts the development of Goffman's dramaturgical approach and the societal contexts that have made it salient, from 1960s white collar society and counterculture to today's cultures of person branding, corporate performance and generalised surveillance. It discusses some of the ways Goffman's concepts have been recontextualised and bent for the purposes of explaining broadcast and digital media performances. The talk builds on Lunt and Ytreberg's ongoing book project Goffman and the Media for Polity Press.