Prof. Erving Goffman

(BA 1945 UC) (MA 1949 Chicago) (PhD 1953 Chicago)

Canadian-born sociologist Erving Goffman was considered the most influential American sociologist of the twentieth century. After completing his undergraduate studies in sociology anthropology at UC, he moved to the United States to complete a PhD at the University of Chicago. He joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, and later at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and Sociology. He made significant contributions to the study of face-to-face interaction, the “dramaturgical approach” to human interaction, microsociology, game theory, and linguistics. Goffman was the author of several important books in his field, including The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Behaviour in Public Spaces and Forms of Talk. He served as president of the American Sociological Association, was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2007 he was listed by The Times Higher Education Guide as the sixth most-cited author in the humanities and social sciences.