The editors of HAR would like to draw your attention to the following upcoming event: a free online discussion of Erving Goffman’s 1953 dissertation, “Communication Conduct in an Island Community”—newly published as an open access book. The event will take place on Friday, May 5, 2023 at 15:00 UTC (11am EDT/4pm BST/ 5pm CET). It will run 45 minutes.



  • Yves Winkin, University of Liège
  • Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
  • Peter Lunt, University of Leicester
  • Greg Smith, University of Salford
  • Filipa Subtil, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa

Join Yves Winkin, Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Peter Lunt, Greg Smith, and Filipa Subtil for a discussion of Erving Goffman’s 1953 dissertation, “Communication Conduct in an Island Community”, recently published as an open access book with a new introduction by Winkin. This free Zoom session, sponsored by, marks the dissertation’s publication with a discussion of the work’s significance by Winkin and other leading Goffman scholars.

Canadian-born Erving Goffman (1922–1982) was the twentieth century’s most important sociologist writing in English. Goffman’s 1953 dissertation, based on fieldwork on a remote Scottish island, presents in embryonic form the full spread of his thought. Framed as a “report on a study of conversational interaction,” the dissertation lingers on the modest talk of island “crofters.” It is trademark Goffman: ambitious, unconventional in form, and brimmed with big-picture insight. The thesis is that social order is made and re-made in communication—the “interaction order” he re-visited in a famous and final talk before his death in 1982. The dissertation is, as Winkin writes in the new introduction, the “Rosetta stone for his entire work.” It was here, in 360 dense pages, that Goffman revealed, quietly, his peerless sensitivity to the invisible wireframes of everyday life. is a scholar-led, nonprofit, no-fee open access publisher in the media, film, and communication studies fields.

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