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In what the General Practitioner called `this intelligent searching work', the author of `Stigma' and `Asylums' presents an analysis of the structures of social encounters from the perspective of the dramatic performance. He shows us exactly how people use such `fixed props' as houses, clothes, and job situations; how they combine in teams resembling secret societies; and how they adopt discrepant roles and communicate out of character. Professor Goffman takes us `backstage' too, into the regions where people both prepare their images and relax from them; and he demonstrates in painful detail what can happen when a performance falls flat.
Erving Goffman (1922-1982) was one of the most influential sociologists of the twentieth century. He was Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.