Why did I love this book?
Although Goffman’s book was originally published in 1956 it remains stunningly relevant and hugely important. If I were forced to recommend one piece of sociology to someone unfamiliar with the subject this would be it. Using drama as a metaphor for understanding everyday behaviour, Goffman illustrates how we present ourselves to others, how we communicate, use props, and have both ‘front stage’ (the bits people see) and ‘back stage’ (those places where we rehearse) in our lives. One often reads in blurbs that ‘this book will change the way you see the world’ – well, it happens to be true in this case. I’m not a big one for re-reading books, but this is one I go back to again and again.