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Erving Goffman

(1922–82) The most influential micro-sociologist during the 1960s and 1970s, Goffman pioneered the dramaturgical perspective for sociology. The influences on his work were many. ...

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...at stake, consider a precursor to social constructionism: labeling (or “societal reaction”) theory in the sociology of mental illness. Starting in the late 1950s and early 1960s, radical (anti-psychiatrists such as Thomas Szasz and R. D. Laing , and sociologists such as Erving Goffman and Thomas Scheff ) advanced an influential set of arguments and empirical studies that challenged the idea that mental illnesses (or, at least, some mental illness categories) were diseases. Szasz denied that mental disorders were akin to infectious diseases, strokes, or...