Compare And Contrast Goffman And Foucault

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Social norms are proper behavioral standards that control the way people behave in society. We do not realize how much social norms influence our behavior until the norm has been broken. Sociologist Erving Goffman and Michel Foucault were concerned with the characteristics that make up the structure of society and the importance of the production of social order. Both theorists have used different methods to study the effect of social life in society and the unspoken rule of conduct of our everyday interactions. In this paper I will compare and contrast their influences, focusing on how social order is produced to help us understand the importance of human interaction and how it contributes to society. Erving Goffman is a theorist that…show more content…
We are away from the crowd and can rehearse and rehash our behavior. Foucault wrote the book History of Sexuality in 1976, where he counters the “repressive hypothesis” and describes how sexuality becomes a discourse. He explores the discourse of sexuality and what it means to us as well as how sexuality should be controlled. His theory is based off the idea that sex is tabooed and that acts or behaviors and orientation are controlled in societies. He goes through civilizations and talks about the evolution of sexuality. Stating how it has been oppressed because of external mechanisms such as the law, institutions, family, and political state, but overtime there were fewer restrictions on sexuality and how people thought of it. “Not only were the boundaries of what one could say about sex enlarged, and men compelled to hear it said; but more important, discourse was connected to sex by a complex organized with varying effects.” (Foucault, 23) Sex is tied up in networks of power and our obsession with sex changed our focus in relation to power. He describes how discourse is used to connect the relationship between knowledge and power. For Foucault discourse crystalizes into political institutions. For instance police force or prisons both compete with their own intrinsic logic on how to discipline
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