alignment

LQZ

Senior Member
Mandarin
Sociologist Erving Goffman uses the term alignment to express this aspect of framing. If you put me down, you are taking a superior alignment with respect to me. Furthermore, by showing the alignment that you take with regard to others, what you say frames you, just as you are framing what you say.
Dear friends, it is taken from a book "I just don't know" saying difference between men and women. While reading this, I thoroughly have no idea what alignment is. I have looked it up in my dictionary ,but don't find the a definition fit.http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=93972&dict=CALD
Now I really need your help, thanks in advance.

LQZ
 
  • LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    4: an arrangement of groups or forces in relation to one another <new alignments within the political party

    Is it definition 4? Skoll? Thanks.
     

    Sköll

    Senior Member
    English, US
    4: an arrangement of groups or forces in relation to one another <new alignments within the political party

    Is it definition 4? Skoll? Thanks.
    I'd say the author is using the term in a generic way: "the act of aligning or state of being aligned" (to align: to be in or come into precise adjustment or correct relative position [mwd]). He explains what is meant by that, which is not the way this term is normally used.
     
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    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Sorry, Skoll and Nunty. I looked up and read repeatedly, and failed to understand what you said. Could you explain more for me?
     

    Franzi

    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    As someone already said, it's clear that Goffman is using 'alignment' in an idiosyncratic manner.

    "A uses the term alignment to express B."
    This means that A is creating a new definition of 'alignment'. This definition is B.

    "If you put me down, you are taking a superior alignment with respect to me."
    Based on this, it looks like 'alignment' means your position relative to someone else (your temporary social position). "Taking a superior alignment" seems to mean "saying/deciding/indicating that you are superior [to someone]".
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thank you, Franzi. After repeatedly reading the complete paragraph, I feel clear. Yes , you are right. Here I think alignment may mean adjustment, because the writer suggests that one can be framed to play different roles during converstations with different people.

    Am I right? Thanks.
     

    Franzi

    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    Thank you, Franzi. After repeatedly reading the complete paragraph, I feel clear. Yes , you are right. Here I think alignment may mean adjustment, because the writer suggests that one can be framed to play different roles during converstations with different people.
    I don't think I would use the word 'adjustment' for this, but your idea of roles is good. I would define 'alignment' (in the context of this book, not elsewhere) as: The temporary social role (relative to another person) that a person adopts during a particular conversation.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    If you think of people operating at different social levels, then alignment can start to make sense.

    Take for instance a large corporation.

    At one level you have the laborers.
    At a level higher you have supervisors.
    You have office workers and their supervisors.
    You have presidents and vice presidents.
    Etc.

    These people work at different levels (strata).

    Do the laborers operate at the same strata as the office workers? If yes, then they are in alignment.
     
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