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Interaction in public places

Smith, Robin ORCID: 2022. Interaction in public places. Jacobsen, Michael Hvild and Smith, Greg, eds. The Routledge International Handbook of Goffman Studies, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, pp. 97-107.

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Goffman’s concerns with social order, communication, and the demands of the self are perhaps best expressed in his observations of interaction in public places. The lived detail of interaction in public space has been, and in many ways remains, overlooked in mainstream sociology. Yet once one has read Goffman on public space, it is hard to look at public settings without noticing some of the array of interactional practices to which Goffman’s original writings draw the sociological eye. Beyond straightforwardly giving name to social phenomena, Goffman’s writings on public space provide for key insights into central social organisational matters including rules and rule-following, perception and categorisation, navigation, trust, and the management of co-presence through to the ‘lived politics’ of public space. In this chapter, I outline Goffman’s key contributions to understanding public interaction order. I also follow up on Manning’s prior recommendations for a dialogue between Goffman’s writings and ethnomethodological studies. In doing so, I consider the ‘stranger’ as a meaningful category; categorisation practices and the visually available order of public space; the interactional accomplishment of rules and norms in the traffic system; and the production and recognition of territories.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9780367750718
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 October 2021
Date of Acceptance: 6 May 2021
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 13:31

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