Title

Interfacing Biography, Theory and History: The Case of Erving Goffman

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Publication Title

Symbolic Interaction

Volume

37

Issue

1

First page number:

2

Last page number:

40

Abstract

This study aims to show that much of Erving Goffman’s writing is cryptobiographical and that key turns in his intellectual career reflected his life’s trajectory and attempts at self-renewal. The case is made that Goffman’s theoretical corpus reflects his personal experience as a son of Russian–Jewish immigrants who struggled to raise himself from the obscurity of Canadian Manitoba to international stardom. The concluding section describes the Erving Goffman Archives and the contribution that the large database of documents and biographical materials assembled therein can make to biocritical hermeneutics, a research program focused on the relationship between biography, theory, and history.

Keywords

Biocritical hermeneutics; Biography; Erving Goffman; Erving Goffman archives; Goffman; Erving; Hermeneutics; Sociological imagination

Disciplines

Sociology | Theory, Knowledge and Science

Language

English

Permissions

Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the item. Publisher policy does not allow archiving the final published version. If a post-print (author's peer-reviewed manuscript) is allowed and available, or publisher policy changes, the item will be deposited.

Identifier

DOI: 10.1002/SYMB.82

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