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This ebook equips the reader with a framework for offering sufficient descriptions of these face-to-face encounters that make up daily life. This version contains essays now not present in the 1st variation, in addition to a brand new creation that locates it within the spectrum of up to date theorizing.
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Extra info for A Sociology of the Absurd (2nd Edition)
Territoriality 25 It is precisely because of their officially open condition that public areas are vulnerable to conversion into home territories. The rules of open ness are sufficiently broad and ambiguous so that restrictions on time, place, and manner are difficult to promulgate and nearly impossible to en force. Armed with a piece of chalk, children can change the public sidewalk into a gameboard blocking pedestrian traffic. Despite building codes and parental admonitions youngsters convert abandoned buildings or newly begun sites into forts, clubs, and hideaways.
Any other set would do. The specific morality that emerges is a case of interplay between human nature, the meaning of the situation, and chance. f humankind, alone; or the external real meaning of the situations, alone; or the chance probabilities, alone. Thus, it is the episode, which comprehends all three, that must, in all its complexity, be the proper focus of study. But an obj ection might be raised. Doesn't this weight the study on the side of the over-dramatized image of man? 7 1 Does not Goffman's social ac- 18 A SOCIOLOGY OF THE ABSURD tor possess too much input of dramatic finesse, strategic ingenuity and tac tical genius to be a proper model for humankind?
Violation of a territory is unwarranted use of it. Violators are those who have repulsed or circumvented those who would deny them access. Violators are also by virtue of their acts claimants in some sense to the ter ritory they have violated. Their claim, however, may vary in scope, intensity, and obj ective. Children may violate the graves of the dead by digging "for treasure" in the cemetery, but unlike ghouls, they are not seeking to remove 28 A SOCIOLOGY OF THE ABSURD the bodies for illicit purposes.