The interaction order Sui generis: Goffman's contribution to social theory

Sociological Theory 5 (2):136-149 (1987)
Goffman is credited with enriching our understanding of the details of interaction, but not with challenging our theoretical understanding of social organization. While Goffman's position is not consistent, the outlines for a theory of an interaction order sui generis may be found in his work. It is not theoretically adequate to understand Goffman as an interactionist within the dichotomy between agency and social structure. Goffman offers a way of resolving this dichotomy via the idea of an interaction order which is constitutive of self and at the same time places demands on social structure. This has significant implications for our understanding of social organization in general
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DOI 10.2307/201935
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