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Rethinking Erving Goffman’s Concept of Frame

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 25-06-2012
‘Frame’ is a metaphor which allows various interpretations. Erving Goffman defines “frame” as expected interactions prescribed by the roles of the subject and others within the given particular situations “here and now”. The article offers distinct interpretation of a frame in wider social space and time. Incontrast to Goffman’s understanding of space and time physically, the author understands social space and time as being subjectively perceived and filled with subjectively meaningful events. Impulse for such understanding came from the collective project “How people make themselves” which presents several cases. The study examines people who have transformed their life trajectory during relatively long period of time and under dramatically changing external and internal circumstances. In these cases ‘reframing’ occurs not in micro-situations (like in Goffman’s works) but in macro-conditions of social changes (examples are ‘chelnoki’, strikers, farmers from former collective farms, etc.). As a result of ‘reframing’ they cope with identity crisis and change their identities The author argues that this conception more fits activist or agency perspective in contrast with that of Goffman, whose understanding surprisingly recalls structural functionalist views – actions of the subject, including mimicry or selfdeception,
aims at his/her adaptation to external structures. In author’s understanding the agents do have capabilities to change the structures purposively.
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