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Embarrassment and Social Organization

Erving Goffman
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 62, No. 3 (Nov., 1956), pp. 264-271
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2772920
Page Count: 8
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Embarrassment and Social Organization
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Abstract

Embarrassment, a possibility in every face-to-face encounter, demostrates some generic properties of interaction. It occurs whenever an individual is felt to have projected incopatible definition of himself before those present. These projections do not occur at random or for psychological reasons but at certain places in a social establishment where incopatible principles of social organization prevail. In the forestalling of conflict between these principles, embarrassment has its social function.

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