Le laboratoire de THéorie sociale, Enquête critique, Médiations, Action publique (Thema) a la plaisir d'accueillir Monsieur Rod Watson de l'Université de Manchester.
It is no secret that Goffman uses – particularly in his early work – a variety of metaphors in order to illuminate what is usually left in the penumbra. Such analogies include terms derived from what one might call a variety of“language games” – the theatre, team games, confidence tricks, espionage etc. This lecture investigates how an examination of Goffman’s textual devices enables us to address distinct analytical tasks with regard to his work. Each of these tasks, in its own way, involves our paying attention to the foundational issue of the descriptive apparatus used by sociologists. Whatever “explanations” the professional sociologist proposes, they are all premised on (and, in turn, help to constitute) on her/his prior description of the phenomenon to be explained: of course, such descriptions are most often assumed rather than topicalised. What, then, do we need to do to topicalise Goffman’s descriptive work?