How Socialorder Is Made and Remade

How Socialorder Is Made and Remade


Social order is central to social life but where do we derive order from? Our everyday lives are ordered in many ways and there are different views of how social order is made and remade. Most of these ways are invisible but have been made visible by social scientists. In this essay I shall be looking into Goffmann and Foucault’s explanations of how Social order is made and remade. I shall be looking at not only the differences in the two ideologies but the similarities as well.

Goffmans approach to social order was done by studying individual actions. He examined the way individuals behaved in different settings. He looked at how people behaved in their different settings and gave the example of how a waiter behaves in front of customers and how he then changes when he is out of their sight. (Silva, 2009 pg. 317) It is safe to say that he focused on the micro-social phenomenon meaning that he studied human interaction at the smallest scale. In contrast Foucault studies the wider picture of human interaction. He studies how discourses shape attitudes and also how discourses can be used to normalise behaviour. He looks at the macro-Social phenomena meaning that he looks at the large scale patterns and systems of human interaction. So while Foucault looks the system from the top downwards Goffman looks at it from the bottom going upwards.

Goffman was interested in the ways in which people’s actions and interactions coordinated in everyday life (Staples et al, 2009). He compared social life to theatre where people play different roles at different times and points in their lives. He explained that people perform their social roles and order is then created by the day to day practices that they engage in.These roles usually go unnoticed unless they are breached. Goffman also claims that body language plays a big part in social interactions. A gaze for example could pass a message that an individual would like to express. We...

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