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 A Rosetta Stone for Erving Goffman
Posted by: Jeff Pooley
Title/Position: Professor of Media & Communication
School/Organization: Muhlenberg College
Sent to listserv of: SPSSI
Date posted: April 26th, 2023

Please join us for a free online discussion of Erving Goffman’s 1953 dissertation, “Communication Conduct in an Island Community”—newly published as an open access book.

* A Rosetta Stone for Erving Goffman: An Online Discussion on Goffman’s Newly Published Dissertation (1953)
* 5 May 2023, 15:00 UTC (11am EDT/4pm BST/5pm CET) [45 minutes]

## Registration link (free)

## Discussants

* Yves Winkin, *University of Liège*
* Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, *University of Wisconsin-Parkside*
* Peter Lunt, *University of Leicester*
* Greg Smith, *University of Salford*
* Filipa Subtil, *Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa*

## Open access book

## More info

## Description

Join Yves Winkin, Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Peter Lunt, Greg Smith, and Filipa Subtil for a discussion of Erving Goffman’s 1953 dissertation, “Communication Conduct in an Island Community,” recently published as an open access book with a new introduction by Winkin. This free Zoom session, sponsored by, marks the dissertation’s publication with a discussion of the work’s significance by Winkin and other leading Goffman scholars.

Canadian-born Erving Goffman (1922–1982) was the twentieth century’s most important sociologist writing in English. His 1953 dissertation, based on fieldwork on a remote Scottish island, presents in embryonic form the full spread of Goffman’s thought. Framed as a “report on a study of conversational interaction,” the dissertation lingers on the modest talk of island “crofters.” It is trademark Goffman: ambitious, unconventional in form, and brimmed with big-picture insight. The thesis is that social order is made and re-made in communication—the “interaction order” he re-visited in a famous and final talk before his 1982 death. The dissertation is, as Winkin writes in the new introduction, the “Rosetta stone for his entire work.” It was here, in 360 dense pages, that Goffman revealed, quietly, his peerless sensitivity to the invisible wireframes of everyday life. ( is a scholar-led, nonprofit, no-fee open access publisher in the media, film, and communication studies fields.

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