The classic “Undead text” of sociology is Erving Goffman’s The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. This article argues that what helps make Presentation Undead is that its key point is obvious. Yet this is only the case after someone shows that point to you. Undead texts are ones that live in us, because reading them awakens us to what we feel we have always seen and known, but did not quite know until we read them.
Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959)
Shamus Khan is professor and chair of sociology at Columbia University. He is the author, with Jennifer S. Hirsch, of Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus (2020). He served as the editor of Public Culture from 2015 to 2019.
Shamus Khan; Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959). Public Culture 1 May 2020; 32 (2 (91)): 397–404. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-8090145
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