No theory forbids me to say "Ah!" or "Ugh!", but it forbids me the bogus theorization of my "Ah!" and "Ugh!" - the value judgments. - Theodor Julius Geiger (1960)

Erving Goffman

From his earliest papers, the Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman (1922-1982) employed a heuristic strategy, which consisted of uncovering what happens in trivial and mundane, peripheral or bizarre, corners of social behavior, depicting the mechanism and its workings in almost painful detail, and then peeling off more and more of the veil of seemingly normal behavior and relationships to reveal similar or analogous structures and processes at work across the entire order of society (Burns,1992).


Burns, T. (1992), Erving Goffman, London: Routledge.

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