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Goffman

Together with Will Gibson (UCL) I have just published a book titled “Institutions, Interaction and Social Theory” (Palgrave).

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From hospitals and prisons to schools and corporations: no matter how large or seemingly abstract, all institutions are ultimately the result of the actions and interactions of people. In this original and innovative text, Gibson and Vom Lehn show the different ways in which studying people’s own meaning-making practices can help us understand the role of institutions in contemporary society.

Institutions, Interaction and Social Theory takes the reader through the core conceptual foundations of Symbolic Interactionism, Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis. Engaging with a rich tradition in sociological thought, it suggests that interactionist perspectives have remained largely absent in the study of institutions, and how they contrast with and contribute to the broader field of research in institutional contexts.

With chapters on healthcare, education, markets, and art and culture, this text will be of interest to those studying institutions, organisations and work in sociology and in business schools. It will also be valuable for students of social theory interested in interactionism, and in the challenges and opportunities of connecting complex theoretical discussions to real world examples.

 

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I was lucky enough to be invited to contribute to Charles Edgley’s fabulous edited volume “Drama of Social Life”. In the most recent (November 2014) issue of Symbolic Interaction Melvyn Horgan reviews Edgley’s volume.

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He highlights in particular the unconventional departure from a mere focus on Goffman and Goffmanian style studies and the early reference to Kenneth Burke’s work that critically informed the dramaturgical perspective (as did Goffman’s).

The review is here.