Erving Goffman (1922-82) was an inspirational thinker, and one of the giants of 20th century sociology. Several of his books, notably The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959), Asylums (1961), Relations in Public (1963), Stigma (1963) and Gender Advertisements (1979) are acknowledged as modern classics. Goffman fundamentally revised how we think of social life. After him, the study of social encounters, behavior in public, the construction and deconstruction of the self, stigma and forms of everyday communication, were never the same again.
Without being obviously attached to any discrete research tradition, Goffman drew from the best thought on social interaction, applied it in his fieldwork, and produced a richly satisfy