Normality and Trust in Goffman's Theory of Interaction Order
The article asserts that Goffman's concept of normality comes close to the notion of trust as a protective mechanism that prevents chaos and disorder by providing us with feelings of safety, certainty, and familiarity. Arguing that to account for the tendency of social order to be seen as normal we need to conceptualize trust as the routine background of everyday interaction, the article analyzes Goffman's concepts of normal appearances, stigma, and frames as devices for endowing social order with predictability, reliability, and legibility. For Goffman, normality is a collective achievement, which is possible because of the orderliness of interactional activities, which is-in turn-predicated "on a large base of shared cognitive presuppositions, if not normative ones, and self-sustained restraints" (Goffman 1983, American Sociological Review 48:1-53, p. 5 cited here).
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