Late Modern Scenes of Action

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
James COSGRAVE, Trent University Durham, Canada
This discussion will explore and seek to extend the conception of “action,” particularly in terms of the ways in which late modern social conditions institute new scenes of action, in the economic sphere and in other dimensions of everyday life. While Goffman sought to explore the social-interactional significance of action, the voluntaristic framing of Goffman’s analysis can be supplemented with a consideration of the social structuring of risks and “imposed” forms of risk-taking. For Goffman, gambling was the “prototype of action,” and Goffman himself was an enthusiastic gambler. Relevant to the discussion then will be the example of the expansion of legalized gambling, understood as a cultural phenomenon and voluntary social action orientation on the one hand, and economic-policy orientation and revenue producer on the other. Other examples to be considered (if time permits) include housing, investing, and retirement/planning.