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Dominance, deference, and demeanor in mad men: Toward a convergence of radical interactionism and radical dramaturgy

Radical Interactionism on the Rise

ISBN: 978-1-78190-784-9, eISBN: 978-1-78190-785-6

Publication date: 16 October 2013

Abstract

In this chapter I attempt to merge Athens’ conception of domination as a complex interactionist concept with Goffman’s notion of demeanor and deference as lynchpins of dramaturgical analysis. I ground the merger in an analysis of metaphorical duel between a superordinate and subordinate in the TV show Mad Men. The examination of this metaphorical dual also implies a connection between a radical interactionism as defined by Athens and a radical dramaturgy informed by Athens’ conception of domination. In particular, I propose an examination of civil domination within institutionalized settings in which use of shared pasts and concomitant acts of demeanor and deference enhance the construction of domination between superordinates and subordinates. The fictional representation of a metaphorical duel in the television show Mad Men depicts a struggle for control in which the superordinate demands that a willful subordinate sign a contract which will bind the subordinate to a particular place for an extended period of time. The examination of events leading to signing reveals a complex weave of social acts that combines the force of domination with the artistry of demeanor and deference.

Keywords

Citation

Katovich, M.A. (2013), "Dominance, deference, and demeanor in mad men: Toward a convergence of radical interactionism and radical dramaturgy", Radical Interactionism on the Rise (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 41), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 161-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-2396(2013)0000041010

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited