Whatever else they may be doing, human beings are also and always expressing themselves whenever they are in the awareness of others. As such, the metaphor of life as theater - of people playing roles to audiences who review them and then coordinate further action - is an ancient idea that has been resurrected by social scientists as an organizing simile for the analysis and understanding of social life. The Drama of Social Life examines this dramaturgical approach to social life, bringing together the latest original work from leading contemporary dramaturgical thinkers across the social sciences. Thematically organized, it explores: ¢ the work of classical and contemporary thinkers who have contributed most to this theoretical framework ¢ the foundational concepts of the dramaturgical approach ¢ a rich array of substantive areas of empirical investigation to which dramaturgy continues to contribute ¢ directions for future dramaturgical thinking. An indispensable collection that updates and extends the dramaturgical framework, The Drama of Social Life will appeal to scholars and students of sociology, social psychology, performance studies, cultural studies, communication, film studies, and anthropology - and all those interested in the work of Goffman and symbolic interactionist theory and practice.
Charles Edgley is Adjunct Professor of Sociology & Anthropology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA. He is co-author of A Nation of Meddlers, and co-editor of Life as Theater: A Dramaturgical Sourcebook, and The Handbook of Thanatology.
’The Drama of Social Life is a joy to read and a treasure trove for social analysts! It offers a unique, engaging, and clear-sighted explication of dramaturgical theory, highlighting not only its origins and foundational concepts, but also its contemporary applications and future directions. The editor, Charles Edgley, masterfully compiles a collection of essays that reveal the power and value of the dramaturgical perspective, particularly by illuminating how people create and enact meanings, identities, and social worlds.’ Kent Sandstrom, North Dakota State University, USA 'This collection is both coherent and cohesive. Edgley has compiled a fine assortment of essays here. They are sufficiently diverse, but are necessarily bounded by a commitment to demonstrating and explicating the dramatic character of social life. And, as sociologists of the everyday, we appreciate that this is the only drama on which the curtains will never close.' Symbolic Interaction