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Between Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman: between discourse in the abstract and face-to-face interaction

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Michel Foucault's 'archaeology' and Erving Goffman's interpersonal sociology are complementary. Both are essential for understanding how classifications of people interact with the people classified, and hence for the author's studies of 'making up people'. The paper begins by explaining how that project is rooted in an 'existentialist' conception of the person. It then uses Goffman's Asylums and Foucault's Folie et déraison - both published in 1961 - to illustrate how these methodologies reinforce each other.

Keywords: Foucauldian archaeology; Foucault; Goffman; Sartre; classification of people; labelling theory; looping effect

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Collège de France

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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