Andrea Mubi Brighenti, Andrea Pavoni

Goffman back in town. On new relations in public

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: interaction order, urban space, civility, normal appearances, inter- visibility, new media, urban informatics, algorithms, atmoculture

The urban phenomena Goffman addressed in his work have changed significantly over the past decades. From urban sprawl to new media technologies, from multi-scalar networks of urban governance to postcolonial approaches to the urban, public space has been deeply reconfigured. In this paper, we consider two possible strategies to further a Goffman-inspired methodology for the study of contemporary urbanity: first, Goffman’s categories can be «stretched», through topological deformation, to adapt them to the new realities under scrutiny; second, new categories can be crafted to multiply the conceptual tools at our disposal for ethnographic description and sociological interpretation. The former strategy is illustrated here focusing on the impact the new media and geo-locative services have; the latter is entertained by bringing into focus the topic of urban atmospheres as a peculiar construct of social phenomenology

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