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BUTLER + GOFFMAN

Smith 2006
p.90-91
Gender distinctions are socially constructed through everyday beliefs and practices including those found in
household divisions of labour, the gendered division of toilet arrangements in public places, and a system of
personal identification by first name and title that biases categorisation of persons in gendered terms

p.101-107
in his later writings Goffman moved away from this conception to- wards a more sociologically consistent view
of self as encoded in conduct

Manning 1992
Two selves view (about Goffmans first book, Presentation1959)

Turner 2003 p.404-405


the notions of a core or trans-situational self are foreign to the general temper of Goffmans work

Longhurst 2007 p.3839


On Butlers concepts:
PERFORMANCE can be regarded as volitional enactment by an agent while PERFORMATIVITY is the
cultural process that constitutes the subject as a gendered subject

Gonos 1977
picks up on the many ways that Goffman slights individual agency and acknowledges the determinative effects
of situations, occasions, frames and their semiotic codes

Green 2007; Brickell 2005


It is remarkable how readily old school Goffman keeps pace with current post-structuralist feminism

Auslander 2003
It seems that the gender analyses offered by Goffman and by Butler are not so different from one another

CRITICIZING GOFFMAN
As if he talked about universalistic human subjectivity

John Hood- Williams and Wendy Cealey Harrison 1998 p.79, 83

Jagger 2008 p.25


Gill Jagger amplifies the critique presented by Hood-Williams and Harrison, hinting that theoretical adequacy
should take precedence over sociological coherence. Jaggers (2008:25) conclusion that Butlers concern with
the constitution of gendered subjectivity involves revealing the ways in which heterosexuality, as a compulsory
and unstable regime of power/knowledge, structures the gendered norms that regulate the kind of verbal and
non- verbal interactions that Garfinkel and Goffman merely describe employs a rhetorical trick commonly
directed towards the ethnographic sociologies: they merely describe. Yet, there is nothing mere in
Goffmans (or Garfinkels) analyses. To be sure, Goffmans notion of analysis runs in very dif- ferent directions
than Butlers. But to imply that his sociology overlooks key features of the cultural constitution of gender
practices betrays an absence of understanding of what the arguments of Arrangement and GA actually
achieve. Too often critics have accepted Butlers claims at face value rather than attempting to engage in a
dialogue between Butler and
Goffmans views that might reveal elements of complementarity as well as common ground. An exception is
offered in Chris Brickells (2005) analysis of masculinities

Bethan Benwell and Elizabeth Stokoe 2006 p.34


claim that unlike Butler . . . Goffmans sense of performance is unproblematically agentive, premised on a
rational, intending self able to manage carefully an often idealised, consistent persona or front in order to
further his or her interpersonal objectives

REFERENCES:
Auslander, Philip (2003): General Introduction, in Performance (Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural
Studies, 4 Volumes). London: Routledge.

Brickell, Chris (2005): Masculinities, Performativity and Subversion. Men and Masculinities, 8 (1):2443.

Butler, Judith (1988): Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist
Theory. Theatre Journal, 40 (4):519531. (1990): Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.
Lon- don: Routledge.

GOFFMAN (1977): The Arrangement Between the Sexes. Theory and Society, 4:301332.

GOFFMAN (1979): Gender Advertisements. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Gonos, George (l977): Situation vs. Frame: The Interactionist and the Structuralist Analyses of
Everyday Life. American Sociological Review, 42:854 867.

Green, Adam Isaiah (2007): Queer Theory and Sociology: Locating the Subject and the Self in Sexuality
Studies. Sociological Theory, 25 (1):2645.

Hood-Williams, John and Wendy Cealey Harrison (1998): Trouble with Gender. The Sociological Review, 46
(1):7394.

Jagger, Gill (2008): Judith Butler: Sexual Politics, Social Change and the Power of the Performative. London:
Routledge.

Longhurst, Brian (2007): Cultural Change and Ordinary Life. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Manning, Philip (1992): Erving Goffman and Modern Sociology. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Poggio, Barbara (2006): Editorial: Outline of a Theory of Gender Practices. Gender, Work and Organization,
13 (3):225233.

Smith, Greg (2006): Erving Goffman. London: Routledge.

Turner, Jonathan H. (2003): The Structure of Sociological Theory (Seventh Edition). Belmont, CA:
Wadsworth/Thomson.