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Frame Analysis: Propaganda Plays of the Woman Suffrage Movement: An Essay on the Organization of Experience (Inglés) Tapa blanda – may 1986

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American Journal of Sociology"

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Erving Goffman will influence the thinking and perceptions of generations to come. In Frame Analysis, the brilliant theorist writes about the ways in which people determine their answers to the questions What is going on here? and Under what circumstances do we think things are real? "

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89 de 93 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0xa2c6d0cc) de un máximo de 5 estrellas An extraordinary tool for analyzing social interaction 18 de septiembre de 1998
Por Un cliente - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa blanda
Goffman takes what could have been a very dry subject, and infuses it with a humor that makes the book a pleasure to read (of course, he was tenured when he wrote it, so he could afford the sense of humor). The controlling idea of the book is that anytime human beings experience anything, we "frame" the experience in one of two categories of ways. The first category of frame is the natural frame, which is sort of "automatic." Those frames are not easily changed or shifted. The second category of frame is the social frame, which includes all kinds of subcategories. In short, social frames result from our past experiences, predispostions, etc. Much of the book is given to taxonimizing the different social frames. Other issues that arise are: How do we process experience when there are competing frames? Who gets to control the frame of experience, the speaker or the listener? Both? Neither? This book is full of heady philosphical musings, but within those parameters, it's remarkably reader-friendly.
47 de 49 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0xa2c6d528) de un máximo de 5 estrellas Not for the Novice Reader 30 de julio de 2006
Por CS - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa blanda
Frame Analysis is Erving Goffman's major contribution to social theory, the crux of which concerns teasing out the relation(s) between social life and meaning through an empirical examination of the existent structure of experience in everyday life. Those seeking to discover the ways in which these structures were/are created will not find suitable answers to their queries, as Goffman makes no stated (or otherwise), attempt to address these issues here (note: for a more concrete analysis of such matters, I would suggest anything by the masterful Michel Foucault). The central thesis of Frame Analysis concerns `the definition of the situation' initially developed by W.I. Thomas; whose famous dictum, "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences," has become a theoretical stable of the symbolic interactionists perspective. Goffman argues that those who reside within the `definition of the situation' more than likely did not create the `definition,' thus posits Goffman, warrants further inquiry into the matter.

Frame Analysis is very long, dense and at times a rather trying and difficult read. Goffman employs a plethora of concepts couched within a multitude of frames from which the reader or `student' can view the ever complex and complicated social world. The most distinctive concepts (and important in terms of this text) however include the `frame,' `primary framework,' `keying,' and `fabrications.' Goffman defines a `frame' as, a collectivity of `definitions of situations' that together govern social events and our subjective involvement in them. A `primary framework' then provides meaning to events that would otherwise be meaningless and consists of two classes, "natural and social." The "natural" class concerns frames that are "purely physical" (e.g. Goffman provides "the state of weather as given in a report" as an example). "Social frameworks" on the other hand provide a basis for understanding events that include agency, aim, will, and controlling effort of human intelligence.

`Keying' consists of an "openly admitted" transformation of untransformed activity and concerns a systematic reworking of something that is already meaningful within the primary framework, therefore enabling social actors to determine what it is that they think is really going on (e.g., Goffman lists the following as basic keys employed in our society, `make-believe,' `contests,' `ceremonials,' `technical redoings,' and `regroupings'). For instance, style (an example of a keying): consists of features of particular social actors who then through "the maintenance of expressive identifiably" systematically transform or modify a strip of activity. `Fabrications,' like keying, consists of a reworking of something that is already meaningful within the primary framework but unlike keying concerns the intentional effort of one or more persons to manage activity so that one or more individuals will garner a false belief about the definition of the situation. A "strip of activity" then is perceived by social actors in terms of the rules of a primary framework (social or natural) and that the perception of such activity provides a model for two basic transformations (keying and/or fabrication). These organizational premises then sustained in both activity and the mind of the actor, collectively comprising what Goffman calls the "frame of the activity."

The "frame of activity" contains the subjective aspects of social life whereby human actors constantly adjust their behavior based on the actions (and subsequent interpretations) given off by other actors. An empirical examination of meaningful activities taking place within the frame of activity as outlined by Goffman in his nearly six hundred page masterpiece allows us to then develop a very basic understanding of the social production of reality. This book is not recommended for the novice sociologist but is geared for the more serious student (e.g. those considering graduate school or those in already in graduate school). A more suitable `beginners' Goffman book might be The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959) which provides a less systematic (and theoretical) approach toward the mundane interaction in everyday life.


Blumer, Herbert. 1969. Symbolic Interactionism. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Brissett, Dennis and Charles Edgle (eds). 1990. Life as Theater: A Dramaturgical Source Book. New York, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.

Goffman, Erving. 1959. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York, NY:Doubleday Press.

Lofland, John (ed). 1978. Interaction in Everyday Life. Beverly Hills, CA: University of California Press.
40 de 41 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0xa2c6d8c4) de un máximo de 5 estrellas Incisive, insightful, and hilarious 21 de enero de 2005
Por Idiosyncrat - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa blanda
Goffman's book is primarily about how people understand the situations they find themselves; in his own words, the ways people face the question "What is it that is is going on here now?" Roughly, answering questions like this is what he calls "framing", and the answers "frames".

The way this topic is developed, however, is by an amazingly detailed discussion of example of incidents where people dramatically misunderstand the situations they find themselves in, either by mistake, or because they are induced into doing it by others who set out to con or fool them. One of the most fun things about this book is the sources of the examples. The most memorable are news clippings apt to be filed under "Odd News", with tales about con men, college activists, the royal family and such, which were obviously thrown into the paper for comic relief, and make the book enormous fun to grab and skim through just for the stories. Goffman's introduction goes as far to label his selection methodology, literally, as a mockery of representative sampling.

But there's a method here. The stories were newsworthy precisely because they were extraordinary ocurrences; and Goffman's approach is to iluminate normality by examining situations that depart dramatically from it. He develops a series of very technical concepts to analyse at great depth what's going on in these situations, the central ones being "frame", "keying", "fabrication". He applies these concepts to drama, conversation and deception, among other things.

The funniest thing about this book, however, is the contrast between Goffman's serious, academic tone and the silliness of a lot of the material he's covering. A contrast which one can tell he played up.
0 de 2 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
Por SethB - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa blanda Compra verificada
Goffman is a must read for any comm, soc, psych, anth, or mass media scholar. Here he outlines a conceptual definition of framing. On pp 10,11 he defines a frame as, "definitions of a situation are built up in accordance w principles of organization which govern events--at least social ones--and our subjective involvement in them; is the word I use to refer to such of these basic elements as I am able to identify." A little bit of a long read compared read compared to Presentation of Self nd Asylums.
22 de 60 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0xa2c6d1ec) de un máximo de 5 estrellas For putting on a shelf, not for reading. 19 de mayo de 2005
Por Bruce - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa blanda Compra verificada
Let me preface my review by saying, I am not a sociologist. Perhaps that's why I found this rambling 580-page tome oblique. I was looking for useful information, but found myself wading through what stuck me as an idiosyncratic theoretician's first draft, or perhaps a compilation from an obsessive sociologist's notepad. I would characterize the work as rambling, disorganized, stream-of-consciousness, anecdotal, and vainly self-aware; a how-smart-am-I, how-heavy-is-my-book showpiece targeted to fellow academics. I realize this angers Goffman worshippers; so be it. Your emperor is scantily clad. It's not in the least bit empirical--Goffman offers theory based on anecdotes, some humorous, but at the end of the day, it's still just anecdotal information. Sociologyman's knee-jerk defense of Goffman calls his work "empirical," and perhaps this is what passes for empiricism in Sociology, but the rest of us wouldn't recognize it as such. We really should demand more from the social sciences. This book is something to add ballast to your library shelf, but not to read unless your goal is to impress other Sociologists at dinner parties. A few of my favorite lines: "Bitinglike behavior occurs, but no one is seriously bitten. In brief, there is a transcription or transposition--a transformation in the geometrical, not the Chomskyan sense--of a strip of fighting behavior into a strip of play." Or how about: "Drawing loosely on a particular imagery, it was said that the main track carrying the story line was associated with a disattend track, the two tracks playing simultaneously. Now a second stream of out-of-frame activity must be considered, this one even more consequential, perhaps, for the main activity than the first, yet nonetheless--to a degree--kept out of focus." Is this brilliant or befuddled? It's brilliantly befuddled. If you like reading this sort of stuff, and have lots of free time, by all means go for it. If you're trying to educate yourself, there are certainly more efficient texts. My low rating is based on my irritation factor, given the ratio of time invested to insights gleaned.