Erving Goffman's idea that persons in interaction can be understood if they are thought to have the property of "ritualness" is extended. A theory of interaction, that interactions are interactive to the degree that persons within them have ''ritual power", develops itself. Persons are then seen as ''possessions", and the sociological state, ''rapture", of an audience when it is deeply moved by a fully possessed performer is taken as one pole of a new dimension of interaction whose other pole is interaction at the point of its ceasing to be interaction. Thus, into the social psychology of interaction is introduced an idea nowhere else even conjectured, that is, interactional life. But this life of everyday life - which I call the ritual realm - is only there through the appearances of life, though these, I contend, are not properly understood either literally or reductively any more than words are properly understood as sounds and letters alone.
|Date of Award||1981|