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Unsettling Appearances: Diane Arbus, Erving Goffman and the Sociological Eye

Carrabine, Eamonn (2019) 'Unsettling Appearances: Diane Arbus, Erving Goffman and the Sociological Eye.' Current Sociology, 76 (5). 669 - 685. ISSN 0011-3921

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Both the photographer Diane Arbus and sociologist Erving Goffman were fascinated by the way we present ourselves to others and this paper sets out how each understood the drama of human interaction. It begins by exploring how their work parallels some developments in the sociology of deviance, and notes how Goffman was one of the earliest critics of this field, before briefly sketching out Arbus’s controversial career and then turning to a more detailed look at three of her images. It concentrates on how the gap between intention and effect, or what Goffman terms the difference between the impressions we ‘give’ and those we actually ‘give off’, are at the core of her work and this sociological insight animates her compositions. The paper then describes how their work unsettles ‘normal appearances’ and provides rich resources for understanding human conduct.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Deviance, family, photography, representation, ritual
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:17
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2019 10:15

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