The first article in this issue provides a summary of the immediately past week in the joint financial crisis and the Presidential campaign through seeing the two events as the double plot of a dramatic presentation. The second article considers the philosophical traps set for the public and policy makers by the idea of student motivation. The last article, by Arnold Birenbaum, is an intellectual memoir concerning the influence of Erving Goffman on one graduate student during the Sixties.
The purpose of this e-journal is to use in tandem the techniques of literary criticism and social structural analysis to illuminate American politics and the various institutions in American society and sometimes matters more global, like religion or war, by turning an eye on the events and objects and performances that are considered art and entertainment, those defined broadly enough to include whatever is covered in newspapers and other media. Another concern is to pick up the texture of social life, both in the United States and in general, through the analysis of those events, objects and performances that are to be found in everyday life.