By Sam Harris
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Extra resources for An Atheist Manifesto
What about other primary emotions, such as love, fear, anger, grief, and so on? He devoted an entire article to questioning what he sees as Goffman’s exclusive concern with embarrassment. We are social creatures to the core. Before reviewing Goffman’s treatment of shared awareness, it is first necessary to further explore his treatment of emotions. For this purpose, I will focus, for the most part, on PSEL since I consider it to be his most fundamental statement, at least for the major part of his career.
Since even a slight discrepancy in deference is sensed, embarrassment or the anticipation of embarrassment would be a virtually continuous presence in interaction. Their sensitivity to the eyes of others make Goffman’s actors seem three-dimensional, since they embody not only thought and behavior, but also feeling (“hand, mind, and heart,” in Phillips’s  phrase). He knew and expressed it beautifully, producing in them joy over pain understood and appreciated, an inextricable mixture of happiness and sadness, expressed in tears.
In the meantime, since Goffman went further in freeing himself from the restrictions of our assumptive reality, perhaps we should hew to the lines that he was establishing. Until we have a new Goffman, perhaps we still have to make the most of the old one. That is to say that Goffman’s approach could be the model for the development of a new social science. Note 1. ” (Oates 1974, 33). ” He went on to say that living in the minds of others, imaginatively, gives rise to real and intensely powerful emotions, pride and shame (Cooley 1922).