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breaching_experiment [2014/08/08 23:18]
Ryan Schram (admin) [The myth of Goffman's elevator]
breaching_experiment [2014/08/08 23:23]
Ryan Schram (admin) [References]
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 Actually, it turns out that this is a bit of anthropological lore. Erving Goffman wrote about elevators as an example of how people in American society, and what he would call "​modern"​ societies, strive to respect other individuals'​ personal space. In elevators, people wordlessly and without difficulty distribute themselves in the car so that everyone has personal space, and everyone has a roughly equal amount of space. When someone enters or leaves, people reshuffle themselves (Goffman 2009 [1971]: 32). It is as though the space around a person is sacred, and indeed that's what Goffman argues. The rules of respect for personal space are so ingrained that they are rarely articulated,​ and when they are violated, people become very anxious and even angry. ​ Actually, it turns out that this is a bit of anthropological lore. Erving Goffman wrote about elevators as an example of how people in American society, and what he would call "​modern"​ societies, strive to respect other individuals'​ personal space. In elevators, people wordlessly and without difficulty distribute themselves in the car so that everyone has personal space, and everyone has a roughly equal amount of space. When someone enters or leaves, people reshuffle themselves (Goffman 2009 [1971]: 32). It is as though the space around a person is sacred, and indeed that's what Goffman argues. The rules of respect for personal space are so ingrained that they are rarely articulated,​ and when they are violated, people become very anxious and even angry. ​
  
-Goffman'​s student, Harold Garfinkel, took these ideas of the unstated norms of a group and their connections to people sense of security and developed them with breaching experiments. Imagine, he asked his students, if you went home to visit your parents but you behaved as though you were a paying guest at their bed-and-breakfast hotel. Imagine if you said "What do you mean?" in reply to anything anyone said, no matter how simple. In these breaching experiments,​ a person deliberately violates the sacred zones of interaction between people, and exposes the presence of the unstated social rules, and also how crucial these rules are for people to feel like they are fitting in, they are normal, and they are respected by others. ​+Goffman'​s student, Harold Garfinkel, took these ideas of the unstated norms of a group and their connections to people sense of security and developed them with breaching experiments ​(Rawls 2002: 32). Imagine, he asked his students, if you went home to visit your parents but you behaved as though you were a paying guest at their bed-and-breakfast hotel. Imagine if you said "What do you mean?" in reply to anything anyone said, no matter how simple. In these breaching experiments,​ a person deliberately violates the sacred zones of interaction between people, and exposes the presence of the unstated social rules, and also how crucial these rules are for people to feel like they are fitting in, they are normal, and they are respected by others.
  
 So apparently over years of anthropology classes, and many times to discuss breaching experiments,​ as a student and as a teacher, the long history of breaching experiments was shortened to "​Erving Goffman walks on to an elevator..." ​ So apparently over years of anthropology classes, and many times to discuss breaching experiments,​ as a student and as a teacher, the long history of breaching experiments was shortened to "​Erving Goffman walks on to an elevator..." ​
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 Goffman, Erving. 2009 [1971]. Relations in Public. New York: Transaction Publishers. Goffman, Erving. 2009 [1971]. Relations in Public. New York: Transaction Publishers.
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 +Rawls, Anne. 2002. Editor'​s Introduction. In Ethnomethodology’s Program: Working Out Durkheim’s Aphorism, by Harold Garfinkel with Anne Rawls. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield.
  
 Weber, Bruce. 2011. “Harold Garfinkel, a Common-Sense Sociologist,​ Dies at 93.” The New York Times, May 3, sec. U.S. http://​www.nytimes.com/​2011/​05/​04/​us/​04garfinkel.html. Weber, Bruce. 2011. “Harold Garfinkel, a Common-Sense Sociologist,​ Dies at 93.” The New York Times, May 3, sec. U.S. http://​www.nytimes.com/​2011/​05/​04/​us/​04garfinkel.html.
  
breaching_experiment.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/24 21:10 by Ryan Schram (admin)