Last updated:
April 10, 2004

Narrative Psychology Search

[Narrative Psychology]

  Theorists and Key Figures


This subpage provides very brief biographical notes regarding individuals who are important theorists, researchers, or contibutors to narrative psychology, the interpretive turn in psychology and the social sciences, and the diverse influences upon narrative which this resource guide details.

Return to Theorists and Key Figures: Index

Theorists/key figures whose names begin with A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Z Y

Theorists & Key Figures
found on this page
Eakin, Paul J.
Elkins, James
Elms, Albert C
Epston, David
Erikson, Erik H.
Fauconnier, Gilles (1944- )
Festinger, Leon
Foucault, Michel (1926-1984)
Frank, Arthur (1946- )
Freeman, Mark
Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939)
Gadamer, Hans-Georg (1900-2002)
Geertz, Clifford
Gennette, Gérard
Gergen, Kenneth J. (1937- )
Giddens, Anthony (1938 - )
Gilligan, Carol
Goffman, Erving
Gonçalves, Oscar F.
Greimas, A(lgirdas). J(ulien)
Online Resource Sites:   PP Philosophy Pages (Garth Kemerling) SEP Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy  IEP Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
 [Homepage Icon] = Homepage of Figure        [Tinysubhead Icon] links to a page within this site MIA Internet Archive 

  Eakin, Paul J.
  Elkins, James    [Homepage]
  Elms, Albert C   [Homepage]
  Epston, David
  Erikson, Erik H.

Fauconnier, Gilles (1944- )  [Homepage]

Gilles Fauconnier is Professor of Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego. He has worked extensively with Mark Turner on the issues of conceptual blending and ways of understanding meaning in the cognition of everyday life.

  Festinger, Leon

Foucault, Michel (1926-1984) PP

 [Arthur W. Frank]

Frank, Arthur W. (1946- )    [Homepage]

Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology
Faculty of Social Science
University of Calgary

Frank graduated from Princeton University in 1968 with an undergraduate degree in English and from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970 with a master's in Communications. He studied Sociology at Yale University, completing his M.Phil in 1973 and Ph.D. in 1975.

He has written extensively on the interface of illness and narrative from a sociological perspective. See particularly these two articles which are available online:

Selected Bibliography: Arthur Frank

Frank, A. W. (1995). The wounded storyteller: Body, illness, and ethics. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Frank, A. W. (1998). Just listening: Narrative and deep illness. Families, Systems, & Health, 16(3), 197-212.

Frank, A. W. (2000). All the things which do not fit: Baudrillard and medical consumerism. Families, Systems, and Health, 18(2), 205-216.

Frank, A. W. (2000). The standpoint of storyteller. Qualitative Health Research, 10(3), 353-365.

Frank, A. W. (2001). Can we research suffering? Qualitative Health Research, 11(3), 353-362.

Frank, A. W. (2003). Survivorship as craft and conviction: Reflections on research in progress. Qualitative Health Research, 13(2), 247-255.

Sources: Canadian Who's Who. Volume 36. Edited by Elizabeth Lumley. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001


Freeman, Mark  [Homepage Icon]   

Mark Freeman is Professor of Psychology and holds the Arthur Garrity, Sr. Chair in Human Nature, Ethics and Society at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. As he states on his homepage, his "teaching and research interests include history and philosophy of psychology, the psychology of the self, narrative psychology, and the psychology of art and creativity. Most recently, he has sought to extend his work in narrative psychology by addressing both the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of narrative, particularly in the context of autobiography. He has also sought to complement his longstanding interest in the self with an in-depth exploration of the category, and place, of the Other in psychological life. He examines the poetics of identity in which time is made meaningful by means of creative interior processes of story construction.

[Tinysubheadblue Icon] Selected Bibliography: Mark Freeman

Freeman, M. (1993). Rewriting the self: History, memory, narrative.  London: Routledge.

Freeman, M. (1997). Why narrative? Hermeneutics, historical understanding, and the significance of stories. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 7(1-4), 169-176.

Freeman, M. (1998). Experience, narrative and the relationship between them. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 8(2), 455-466.

Freeman, M. (1998). Mythical time, historical time, and the narrative fabric of the self. Narrative Inquiry, 8(1), 27-50.

Freeman, M. (1999). Culture, narrative, and the poetic construction of selfhood. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 12(2), 99-116.

Freeman, M. (2000). Theory beyond theory. Theory & Psychology, 10(1), 71-77.

Freeman, M. (2000). When the story's over: Narrative foreclosure and the possibility of self-renewal. In M. Andrews, S.D. Sclater, C. Squire, & A. Treacher (Eds.), Lines of Narrative: Psychosocial Perspectives (pp. 81-91). London: Routledge.

Freeman, M. (2001). From substance to story: Narrative, identity, and the reconstruction of the self. In J. Brockmeier & D. Carbaugh (Eds.), Narrative and Identity (pp. 283-298). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins.

Freeman, M. & Brockmeier, J. (2001). Narrative integrity: Autobiographical identity and the meaning of the "good life." In J. Brockmeier & D. Carbaugh (Eds.), Narrative and Identity (pp. 75-99). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins.

Freeman, M. (2002). Charting the narrative unconscious: Cultural memory and the challenge of Autobiography. Narrative Inquiry, 12, 193-211.

Freeman, M. (2003). Rethinking the fictive, reclaiming the real: Autobiography, narrative time, and the burden of truth. In G. D. Fireman, T. E. McVay, Jr., et al. (Eds.), Narrative and consciousness: Literature, psychology, and the brain (pp. 115-128). London: Oxford University Press.

 [Sigmund Freud]

Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939)  PP  IEP  

Austrian physician trained in neurology and neuropathology. Founder of psychoanalysis. Freud was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Moravia on May 6, 1856. The family moved to the capital city of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Vienna, when Freud was 4. He was educated in the gymnasium and entered the University of Vienna as a medical student in 1873. There he worked at Ernst Brücke's Physiological Institute as a research scientist even after receiving his medical degree in 1881. As a physician-resident at the Vienna General Hospital beginning in 1982, Freud rotated through various services including surgery, opthalmology, and dermatology. He was deeply impressed by his experience in the psychiatry service headed by Theodore Meynert, an internationally-recognized brain physiologist. Appointed a Privatdozent (Instructor) in neuropathology in 1885, Freud spent six months at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris with neurologist, Jean Martin Charcot. He returned to Vienna in 1886, set up his own practice as a neurologist, and married Martha Bernays.

From 1886 to 1900, Freud became increasingly involved in the treatment of patients showing symptoms of hysteria. His past discussions with Dr. Josef Breuer over the case of Anna O. (Bertha Pappenheim), extensive conversations and correspondance with his controversial friend, the ear-nose-throat specialist, Dr. Wilhelm Fleiss, and his own attempts to understand himself through a self-analysis brought Freud eventually to publish The Interpretation of Dreams in 1899/1900. From 1900 until the end of the first World War, Freud fostered psychoanalysis as a new science and, through extensive writing and lecturing, gradually secured both recognition for his work and a cadre of disciples who shared his psychological vision. He made his famous (and only) trip to the United States in 1909 to lecture and receive an honorary degree at Clark University in Worcester, MA in the company of his then-friend and  colleague, Carl Gustav Jung. During the last two decades of his life, Freud found himself reformulating his basic understanding of the human mind (adding the functional model of [Model of the Self]id-ego-superego to the original structural systems model of the Cs, Pcs, and Ucs, see "iceberg model" figure on left). His psychoanalytic practice brought many new patients to the consultation room of Berggasse 19, in the post-war era. But, Freud had to cope with recurrent cancer of the jaw begining in 1923 and strongly pessimistic doubts regarding the ability of society ultimately to manage forces of irrationality and violence in common life. With the Nazi invasion of Austria in 1938, Freud's personal safety and that of his family became precarious. He was able to leave his homeland to settle in London later that year. He died on September 23, 1939, less than a month after the begininng of the Second World War.

The commentary by Raymond Fancher on Freud's (1910) volume, The Origins and Development of Psychoanalysis, offers a succinct but comprehensive review of Freud's professional life and theories.

From the narrative perspective, Freud is important for a host of ideas and practices. These include themes such as the following:

  • Language and other behaviors are symbolic, determined, and require interpretation. Throughout Freud's writings, he asserted that the determinism which begat any human action (and therefore the action's meaning) could be discovered by psychoanalytic techniques of free association and other interpretive procedures. For Freud, everything that humans do -- dreams, thoughts, spoken language, and actions in the world -- were filled with symbolic meaning. And, these could be recovered via diverse hermeneutic principles which placed a heavy reliance upon metaphor, metonymy, and other tropes. Thus, in works like The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901/1914), he offered numerous examples of errors ("Freudian slips") in speech, reading, writing and memory--all of which he argued were meaningful behaviors which he interpreted for his readers. Regarding any form of "error," Freud asserted:

Among the examples of the mistakes collected by me I can scarcely find one in which I would be obliged to attribute the speech disturbance simply and solely to what Wundt calls 'contact effect of sound.' Almost invariably I discover besides this a disturbing influence something outside of the intended speech. The disturbing element is either a single unconscious thought, which comes to light through the special blunder, and can only be brought to consciousness through a searching analysis, or it is a general psychic motive, which directs against the entire speech." (Freud, 1901/1914, p. 80).

The "searching analysis" Freud speaks of includes not only simple attempts to link single associations one with the other, but extended and complex interpretations involving multiple layers of meaning and intentionality. His theory of condensation and displacement in dreams -- where the simple structure or elements of a particular reverie serve metaphorically or in place of multiple associative memories and wishes -- underscores the plurality of meaning he believed always inhered in human activity.

  • Extensive case studies can help us understand an individual's psychology as well as general theories of psychopathology. The power of Freud's writing and thought derives not simply from the complexity and sophistication of his theoretical formulations, but certainly from the detailed and compelling case histories he offers in support of his positions. Hence, we have the stories of Anna O., Dora, Little Hans, the Rat Man, the Wolf Man, and others. While there are serious questions about the accuracy of what Freud recounts in some of these studies (e.g., Borch-Jacobsen, 1996), there is little denying that his use of this format lent a persuasive lifelikeness prima facie to his theories and their practical applications.
  • Time and the Unconscious. Freud's theory of primary process and its functioning within the id problematized time and sequence in human storytelling abilities; processes of psychological defense and distortion could transpose events in time or create non-linear symbolic associations in events and experience. Freud's use of the archeological (rather than narrative) metaphor to understand the process of therapeutic dialogue -- the unearthing of long-buried associations or memories in the life of a patient--received a fundamental and unltimately fatal challenge by the arguments of Donald Spence in his seminal (1984) volume, Narrative Truth and Historical Truth. Nonetheless, Freud's flexible approach to chronology is a fundamental contribution to 20th century modernity.

[Tinysubheadblue Icon] See Psychoanalysis & Depth Psychologies

Sources: Borch-Jacobsen, M. (1996). Remembering Anna O: A centuryof mystification (K. Olson, Transl.). New York: Routledge. Freud, S. (1914). Psychopathology of everyday life (A. A. Brill, Transl.). London, UK: Unwin. [Online] Downloaded 3/22/04 from the York University website:


Gadamer, Hans-Georg (1900-2002)   PP 

German philosopher and preeminent theorist of hermeneutics in the post World War II era. His 1960 Truth and Method (Wahrheit und Methode) returned to examine the question of "understanding" as contrasted to natural science's "explanation". Strongly influenced by Martin Heidegger with whom he studied as an assistant 1923-1928. 

[Clifford Geertz] 

Geertz, Clifford (1926- )

Born in San Francisco, CA, Clifford Geertz studied philosophy as an undergraduate at Antioch College where he graduated in 1950. He then entered the Department of Social Relations at the Harvard Graduate School and received his Ph.D. in 1956 in anthropology. He worked briefly at Harvard after obtaining his doctorate before serving as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stamford during 1958-1959 and teaching on the faculty of UC Berkeley (1958-1960). He moved to the University of Chicago in 1960 where he remained for the next decade. In 1970, he joined the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton as Professor of Social Science until his retirement in 2000. He has received multiple honors including at least 15 honorary degrees as well as advanced fellowships and lectureships.

His extensive work in the field was conducted both in Indonesia on the islands of Java, Bali, Celebes, and Sumatra (six visits from 1954 through 1999) and in Morocco (seven visits from 1963 through 1986). be continued

[Tinysubheadblue Icon] Clifford Geertz

  • The HyperGeertz© WorldCatalogue (Ingo Mörth & Gerhard Fröhlich, U Linz, Austria) contains a complete bibliography and documentation of his work.
  • A Life of Learning (The Charles Homer Haskins Lecture for 1999, American Council of Learned Societies) An autobiographical sketch by Geertz of his life and theories.
  Gennette, Gérard
[Ken Gergen] 

Gergen, Kenneth J. (1937- )    [Homepage]

Professor of Psychology, Swarthmore College. Foundational voice in the development of social constructivism in social psychology and the social sciences.

Ken Gergen was born December 9, 1934 in Rochester, NY. He attended Yale University as an undergraduate (B.A 1957) and finished his doctorate in psychology at Duke University in 1963. He taught briefly at Harvard University (1963-67) before settling at Swarthmore College where he has worked ever since. He was awarded both a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1968-69 and a Fulbright Reseach Fellowship in 1977-78. He has served as a visiting professor at many institutions worldwide.

Though Gergen started his career in the mid-1960s as a center-of-the-road experimental social psychologist, he soon became suspicious of the methodological certitudes and conceptual foundations of the prevailing experimental model. He began to appreciate the degree to which all social laboratory endeavors are value-laden, steeped in the history and culture of a particular time and place, and generative or supportive of particular social and political viewpoints. As Gergen (1996) describes, "Most of these arguments [about the nature of the standard model-Ed.] were published in an early article, "Social psychology as history" (Gergen, 1973). The effects were startling. Broad controversy ensued; my arguments were rejected as counter-productive philosophy by some, pilloried by others, and for a few, there was a sense of "at last, vindication of long silent doubts." This article, combined with a range of additional critique (Harre and Secord, 1972; Ring, 1967; McGuire, 1973) produced what was called the "crisis in social psychology." .... Yet, within a few years the crisis subsided; the experimentalists returned to business as usual; self-reflection largely disappeared from the pages of the major journals. At the same time, for a small number of beleaguered but undaunted souls, there loomed but dimly the vision of a reconstructed social psychology."

Gergen did not return to "business as usual" but sought to enunciate a different vision for social psychology. He points to his reading of Hans-Georg Gadamer's Truth and Method as crucial: there he confronted the notion of readers bringing "horizons of understanding" by which to interpret texts not previously read (Gergen, 1996). This philosophical conception resonated with similar understandings of theorists like Thomas Kuhn (scientists work within communities dedicated to prevailing interpretive paradigms) and Stanley Fish (readers approach texts as members of interpretive communities). For Gergen, this led to the notion that psychologists are themselves not free of such interpretive horizons which they bring to any evaluation of the mental "interiors" of those whom they study. "In effect, the psychological world so dear to the heart of many social psychologists is a social construction, and the findings used to justify statements about this world are only valid insofar as one remains within the theoretical (and metatheoretical) paradigms of the field" (Gergen, 1996).

Gergen is well-known, too, for his labeling of contemporary human selves as "saturated" (Gergen, 1991). In Gergen's view, the self has been profoundly buffeted by the technological innovations of the past century and increasingly subject to demands of travel, work, and maintaining multiple relationships in diverse venues. The effect of this has been to shift an understanding of the self from an essentialist one-the contained and stable self of earlier centuries--to a self whose identity is rooted in a postmodern plethora of relationships.

He is married to Mary Gergen (Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies; Pennsylvania State University-Delaware County). Mary Gergen has worked extensively in the area of feminist psychology. They both collaborate on a variety of scholarly and applied projects such as social constructionism (Gergen & Gergen, 2003), narrative in the social sciences, The Taos Institute, performative psychology, and approaches to positive aging.

Bibliography: Ken Gergen

Gergen maintains a broad range of papers and manuscripts online which serve to present an excellent entry point to his thinking.

Gergen, K. J. (1973) Social psychology as history. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 26, 309-320

Gergen, K. J. (1985). The social constructionist movement in modern psychology. American Psychologist, 40, 266-275.

Gergen, K. J. (1991). The saturated self: Dilemmas of identity in contemporary life. New York: BasicBooks.

Gergen, K. J. (1996). Social psychology as social construction. In C. McGarty, & A. Haslam (Eds.), The message of social psychology: Perspectives on mind in society. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. [Online version] (a)

Gergen, K. J. (1996). Technology and the self: From the essential to the sublime. In D. Grodin and T. R. Lindlof (Eds.), Constructing the self in a mediated world. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [Online version] (b)

Gergen, K., & Gergen, M. (Eds.). (2003). Social construction: A reader. London: Sage.

Peter Reason (University of Bath, UK). Summary Outline of Gergen's Saturated Self. [Online]

Sources: Beyond those cited above in the text itself, sources include Evory, A. (Ed.). (1978). Contemporary authors. Vols. 33-36 (1st revision, p. 328). Detroit, MI: Gale Research Company; Gergen, K. J., Gergen, J. S., & Martini, C. (2002). Blessed be the name of the father: Generational echoes. In R. J. Pellegrini, & T. R. Sarbin (Eds.), Between fathers and sons: Critical incident narratives in the development of men's lives (pp. 125-139). New York: Haworth Clinical Practice Press.


Giddens, Anthony (1938- )  [Homepage]

Born January 18, 1938, Anthony Giddens grew up in Edmonton, North London. He attended the University of Hull as an undergraduate in the late 1950s and obtained a master's degree in sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1961. Until 1970, he lectured at the University of Leicester while holding visiting appointments at Simon Fraser University and UCLA in the late 1960s. Beginning in 1970 he held various teaching positions at Cambridge University from which he earned his doctoral degree in 1976. One of the most influential sociological theorists of the late 20th century, Anthony Giddens has been the Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science since early 1997.

His analyses of the influence of globalization, the risk of modern technological society, and the impact of modernity upon individual identity serve as important theoretical frameworks by which to understand many concerns raised by narrative psychologists.

  Sociology: Bibliography: Anthony Giddens

  • FAQ on Giddens' theories at his homepage

BBC 1999 Reith Lectures: Runaway World. Giddens presents five lectures on globalization. In text, audio, and video formats.

Sources: Giddens' homepage.


Gilligan, Carol (1936- )

[Radio Icon]  Interview with Carol Gilligan, The Connection, WBUR (5/10/2002)
 Brief biographical note

Carol Gilligan was born November 28, 1936 in New York City. She graduated with a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1958, an M.A. from Radcliffe College, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Harvard University in 1964 (the year after Harvard began awarding doctoral degrees in its own name to women.) Most of her career was spent at Harvard where she served as a lecturer (1967-1971), assistant professor (1971-1978), associate professor (1978-1986), and professor (since 1986). In 1992 she held the Pitt Professorship in American History and Institutions at the University of Cambridge (UK). She was appointed to a chair in the Human Deelopment and Psychology Program of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard. She founded the Center on Gender and Education there in 2001. More recently (2002), Gilligan moved to New York University as University Professor. At NYU she had previously collaborated briefly with Jerome S. Bruner on an application of her "Listener's Guide" process (see Gilligan & Brown, 1992) to the narratives.

Gilligan's work arose at the juncture between psychology and the study of ethics and moral decisionmaking. Though she trained as a clinician at Harvard, her work with the developmentalist, Lawrence Kohlberg, forced her to confront a discrepancy between his hierarchical theory of development in moral reasoning and the voices of women whom she was listening to. While psychological theory presumed to set reasoning with abstract principles at the apex of development, Gilligan found that women employed a care-based ethical framework to come to decisions. This set the stage for several decades of exploration of that "different voice" of women and the patterns of their development.

[Tinysubheadblue Icon] Selected Bibliography: Carol Gilligan
Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women's development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (reprinted with new preface, 1993.)
Gilligan, C. (2002). The birth of pleasure. New York: A. A. Knopf.
Gilligan, C., & Brown, L. M. (1992). Meeting at the crossroads: Women's psychology and girls' development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Gilligan, C., Lyons, N. P., & Hammer, T. J. (Eds.). (1990). Making connections: The relational worlds of adolescent girls at Emma Willard School. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Gilligan, C., Taylor, J. M., & Sullivan, A. M. (1996). Between voice and silence: Women and girls, race and relationshp. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Sources: Boufis, C. (1996). Gilligan, Carol. In P. Kester-Shelton (Ed.), Feminist writers. Detroit, MI: St. James Press. Carol Gilligan named to chair in gender studies. Harvard Graduate School of Education News, September 10, 1997. Downloaded March 3, 2004 from the HGSE website:
 [Erving Goffman]

Goffman, Erving Manual (1922-1982 )

Born on June 11, 1922 in Manville, Alberta, Canada, Erving Goffman received an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto (1945) before pursuing graduate studies in sociology and social anthropology at the University of Chicago. His Ph.D. (awarded in 1953) followed a thesis, Communication Conduct in an Island Community, which was conducted on one of the Shetland Islands. It was republished as his first book, The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life (Goffman, 1956). Goffman taught from 1958 to 1968 at the University of California, Berkeley. He was then appointed the Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 where he taught until his death. Elected the 73rd President of the American Sociological Association for 1981-1982, Goffman died soon thereafter of cancer in Philadelphia on November 19, 1982.

Goffman's educational heritage was symbolic interactionism and the interpretative sociological tradition of his graduate alma mater, Chicago. Through a career (truncated by an all too early death) Goffman eschewed the large-scale projects of experimental and survey approaches to social life or the gathering and statistical analysis of massive quantitative data sets. The arenas of his research were relentlessly quotidian--those places of social exchange in which individuals encountered each other in pairs or coordinated teams met socially with their opposite numbers whether they be clients, patients, customers, or other members of the general public.

Goffman's early approach is usually termed dramaturgical. He adopted the metaphor of drama and the theater in order to understand social encounter. Living was like performing in a play: actors respond to all the other persons in their lives as if they form an audience and strive to create an artful and convincing a performance of their role(s) before that audience. As Sarbin (2003) indicates in his recent appraisal:

The central message of Presentation is that human beings are actors, both in the sense of being agents and in the sense of pretending to be what they are not. As agents, human beings are responsible for their actions. They learn early in life that their actions are under the scrutiny of judgmental others so that any violation of the rules of propriety is potentially a threat to one's self. ... To avoid or to minimize embarrassment, individuals must be ready to employ strategies of impression management; i.e., they must be ready to create performances, to become actors in the theatrical sense. As in theatre, the actors strive to present a convincing image of self to dialogue partners and other audiences. Goffman's men and women are less individuals trying to enact conventional roles as in trying to be someone or something.

Goffman had a keen eye and acute ear for the nuances and subtlties of social intercourse. Beginning with this early analysis, he offered a broad and intricate set of terms, phrases, and notions--frequently borrowed from other realms of social practice--by which to characterize social exchange. Thus, his dramaturgical toolkit includes notions like front and back regions (metaphorically parallel to front and back stage) and performance to understand the techniques of interpersonal impression management.

For many readers, his work on "total institutions" first explored in Asylums (1961) offered powerful insights into the ways that ordinary social institutions like prisons, state hospitals, military bases, homes for the blind, monasteries, semianries, and the like functioned. Goffman gathered the material for his book during a 1955-56 field study at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC. Inmates of the institutions Goffman describes work, play, eat, and sleep according to specific time schedules within a bounded space which sets off the institution from its surrounding physical and social territory. Within such places, activities serve to maintain a split between inmates and staff, to promote processes of self-mortification (or stripping), and to maintain discipline. The residents of these locales develop their own argot or "in house" language and symbols and follow a privilege system which reinforce discipinary goals.

[icon]Sociology: Bibliography: Erving Goffman

Branaman, A. (1997). Goffman's social theory. In E. Goffman, The Goffman reader (C. Lemert & A. Branaman, Eds; pp. xlv-lxxxii). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

Burns, T. (1992). Erving Goffman. New York: Routledge.

Comprehensive, sympathetic analysis of his thinking.

Lemert, C. (1997). "Goffman." In E. Goffman, The Goffman reader (C. Lemert & A. Branaman, Eds; pp. ix-xliii). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

Manning, P. (1992). Erving Goffman and modern sociology. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Sarbin, T. R. (2003). The dramaturgical approach to social psychology: The influence of Erving Goffman. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), The anatomy of impact: What makes the great works of psychology great (pp. 125-136). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Scheibe, K. E. (1987) Goffman redux, Contemporary Psychology, 32, 501-502.

Becker, H. S. (1999, November). The politics of presentation: Goffman and total institutions. Paper prsented a a conference on Erving Goffman and the Concept of "Total Institutions." Grenoble, France. (Appears as Becker, H. S. (2001). La politique de la présentation: Goffman and les institutions totales. In C. Amourous, & A. Blanc (Eds.), Erving Goffman et les institutions totales. Paris, France: L'Harmattan.

Erving Goffman: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (Adam Barnhart, 1994): Synopsis & analysis of this text; sets Goffman's thought in the context of his own work and notes its shortcomings. [Mirror version at the Hewitt School, Norwich, Norfolk, UK]

Freidson, E. (1983). Celebrating Erving Goffman, 1983. Contemporary Sociology, 12(4), 359-362. Paper read at a memorial for Goffman at the Eastern Sociological Society meeing, Baltimore, March 4, 1983. Focuses upon Goffman's earlier work.

Social Interaction in Everyday Life (Douglas E. Martin, Northwest Missouri State University). Brief but lucid textbook chapter outline from a General Sociology course. Succinct summary of dramaturgical analysis.

Asma, D. (n.d.). Welcome to jail: Some dramaturgical notes on admission to a total institution. Available at the website of the Lake County, IL Public Defender's Office:

This is an application of Goffman's ideas to the modern prison setting.

Sources: Branaman (1997); Contemporary Authors Online. (2000). The Gale Group; Dicke, W. (1982, Noverber 22). Erving Goffman, sociologist who studied everyday life. New York Times, p. B16; Lemert (1997); Sarbin (2003).

  Gonçalves, Oscar F.
  Greimas, A(lgirdas) J(ulien)

When citing this document, you may wish to consider this form for the reference (derived from APA Style [5th ed.])

Hevern, V. W. (2004, March). Theorists and key figures: E-F-G. Narrative psychology: Internet and resource guide. Retrieved [enter date] from the Le Moyne College Web site:

     Narrative Psychology: Internet and Resource Guide
is copyright © 1996-2004 by Vincent W. Hevern, SJ, all rights reserved.

No portion of this guide may be reproduced or used for commercial or other purposes without the express written consent of the author.