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By Stephen Harold Riggins (ed.)

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Extra info for Beyond Goffman: Studies on Communication, Institution, and Social Interaction

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And alongside of this second possibility grows a third, still more radically free form: the person can serve as a vehicle for signs. This is the door through which Goffman passed. Beyond it, the person no longer retains the small patrimony of ontological status derived from being an ideological product, now one is a messenger, a carrier. The person is transformed The descent of the ego 35 from ideological product to ideological instrument, possessing nothing but the capability of moving minds. , made to signify or made significant.

For the whole story, we would add this extra coordinate, for which we have chosen the unwieldy name of the 'socio-anagogic'. The word is intended to sum up the ways in which things of the senses are secretly emblematic of motives in the social order, so that all visible, tangible entities become an enigma, and materials become pageantry (1962:xv). Burke (1965:31) provides an illustration which he handles much as Goffman would. When a man hears footsteps behind him in an unlighted alley at night, and he walks ahead a little faster, the Motive is the footsteps in the dark.

And that such conditions even apply when we have the feeling we are writing sub specie eternitatis. Normally, one may leave such delicate considerations unspoken, but if our theme is to be the 'interaction order', it would be fatal to do so. Let us therefore start with the semiotic constraints. , he treated his own presidential address as a text for the semiotics of performance. One may therefore ask: just what are the 'data' provided by the text from that perspective? Thus, when I turn to the nexus of inter-disciplinarity and of Indian involvement, my starting point is again in Goffman's own writings.

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