PEOPLE IN PLACES: The Sociology of the Familiar by Arnold & Edward Sagarin -- Eds. Birenbaum

PEOPLE IN PLACES: The Sociology of the Familiar

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Until Erring Goffman slipped unobtrusively into the consciousness of contemporary sociology, like some empirical Trojan Horse, back in 1959 with the publication of his pathbreaking study of commonplace social behavior (The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, followed over the next decade by a number of other equally influential works, including the most recent Relations in Public which received wide attention by the popular review media), social scientists attached little significance to how we interact in elevators or the subway, behave when walking down the street alone or with a companion, or observe the etiquette of ordinary social situations. These interactions, Goffman taught us, are laden with sociological meaning in terms of what is socially permissible and the processes of conformity, deviance, role-playing, and communication via indirect signals. And as this collection attests Goffman has spawned an identifiable subdiscipline -- the sociology of the ""familiar""-- complete with specialized vocabulary and enthusiastic adherents. Among the fifteen articles here -- almost all reprinted from scholarly journals or in the case of Goffman's two entries, from his books-- there are two by Barry Schwartz (on sleep and gift-giving), one by the editors (""The Deviant Actor Maintains His Right to be Present""), another by Sagarin (on embarrassment and forms of address), an analysis of ""Bar Sociability"" by Sherri Cavan, and a particularly impressive investigation of ""Intimacies"" by Sasha Weitman. A carefully edited anthology, mainly for the professional or student.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1973
Publisher: Praeger