As people socialize, they create interactions whose products are influential to act back upon the people to determine or constrain actions. Moreover, social interactions may be likened to a theatre whereby people are the actors as the rest of the people are the audience. These other people actively observe the role-playing and respond by reacting to the performances. However, people’s behaviors tend to change when they are alone as they get rid of the roles they play in front of others.
Social Interaction is an essential element when understanding the role of a human in society and how a human conducts himself or herself. A key term for this interaction is a person’s status(a recognizable social position that an individual occupies. Page 128) in that society. Each person within that status has a role (the duties and behaviors expected of someone who holds a particular status. Page 128) to complete during their social interactions. However, if a person cannot complete the roles that are assigned to them in that individual status then they experience role strain (the incompatibility among roles corresponding to a single status. Page 128). One example from the book is a professor who needs to keep writing research and lectures
As society changes and technology advances, the methods and frequency of social interaction will undoubtedly change with it. Yet, no matter how drastic these changes, Goffman’s conceptualizations of presentation of self within social interaction will hold true. As long as the human race exists, and as long as social interaction occurs between people, Goffman’s ideas will remain ever present. The challenge lays in our interpretation these of concepts, and our effective, or ineffective, application of them to everyday life.
Erving Goffman was a sociologist who studied and analyzed social interaction. He took special interest in explaining how people live their lives as if they were actors performing on stage. He looked at the world as if he were a “director” seeing what goes on in everyday life. He called this observation of the world dramaturgical analysis. He applied terms to this explanation, which include the concepts of status and role. He referred the “part in a play” as the status, and then the “script” is the role. His claim of presentation of self was used to describe “a person’s efforts to create specific impressions in the minds of others.” Goffman thought that when any individual is around others, they would try to “put on an act” or personify someone as to impress those around him or her.
Erving Goffman, the author of “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.” said “the individual will act so that he intentionally or unintentionally expresses himself and the others will in turn have to be impressed in some way by him.” (Ichheiser 1949, 6-7). The key word in this quote that will help us understand what Goffman means by “performance” is the word act. When you go to the theater or the movies you watch
Sociologist Erving Goffman (1959) discussed some relevant concepts in The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life such as performance, front, dramaturgical self, and impression management. Performance means that there is any sort of event where other people are watching the individual and this observation of the individual influences how the individual acts (Goffman 1959: 22). This is an altered performance and Goffman labelled this as the ‘front’ (Goffman 1959: 22). The term dramaturgical self means the practice of highlighting an aspect of the individual self that is usually hidden on a normal basis in order for others to see it (Goffman 1959: 30-31). And the final term outlined in Goffman’s book is impression management, which is when people
Many people in life, present themselves to society in a manner in which they want to be seen. Maybe an employee wants to be seen as a hard working person, so when the supervisor is around, they might act busy. Or sometimes, when a person wants to be accepted, they present certain attributes to make them look good. Erving Goffman believed that “we present a certain self or face when in the presence of others”. He called these actions the key concepts of dramaturgy. The movie Grown Ups provides many examples of these key concepts.
He believed that we manipulated the way other’s see us in order to socially construct the ‘self’. Goffman’s dramaturgical approach is described as so due to the fact that he uses drama analogies when talking about social interaction; for example, the fact we are all ‘actors’, using ‘scripts’ and ‘props’. He further went on to state how we pursue to present a particular image of ourselves to our ‘audience’, for us to do this, we must intently look at how our audience respond to our ‘performance’ and whether or not this is convincing enough for them, if not, changes will be made accordingly. By using our ‘props’ such as make-up, clothing as well as using our language, gestures, tone of voice, us, as people, can socially construct our self for the person we want our audience to believe, we, in fact, are. He believes that in our ‘theatre’ there is a ‘front’ we use, which is the role we are acting out, whereas, ‘backstage’, we can almost step out of this role and act ‘ourselves’. For example, a lecturer will fill their put up their ‘front’ when doing their job, however, when they are ‘backstage’ they can drop the ‘act.’ Goffman’s idea of roles is different to other ideas in sociology of what our roles are—such as in Functionalism, in which it is believed that our roles are tightly ‘scripted’. Whereas, Goffman believes that like a stage actor is not really
The presentation of the self is something that plays a tremendous role in our daily life. When we talk about the presentation of the self we are referring to the different types of performance we do in our daily life such as the way that we attempt to present ourselves to the world around us. Once we select a role for ourselves we are always trying to maintain the role that we have selected. The presentation of the self also refers to the way we attempt to present ourselves in the eyes of others, we attempt to act or perform the way we want others to see us. In the book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Erving Goffman, the author attempts to define the presentation of the self as the act where an individual tries to manage their performance when they are interacting with others. The author stated that when someone is performing this may be linked to a theater where we find different types of actors performing a different type of role that they want to present to their audience. The author believe that the individual will attempt to control the way he acts in front of others, in order to control the way he wants to be seem by others.
Berger and Luckmann’s The Social Construction of Reality and Irving Goffman’s The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life analyze human interaction in the context of actions we perform and the meanings that such actions take in social environments. I will analyze Goffman’s account of modification of the “self” through performance within the context of Berger and Luckmann’s hypothesis. The theatrical performance metaphor looks at how socialization and experience affect the use of fronts, expressions, and expressions given off.
Adopted into sociology by Erving Goffman, he developed most terms and the idea behind dramaturgical analysis in his 1959 book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. This book lays out the process of human social interaction, sometimes called "impression management". Goffman makes the distinction between "front stage" and "back stage" behavior. “Front stage" actions are visible to the audience and are part of the performance. We change our hair color, eye color, complextion. Wearing make-up, the way our hair is styled, the clothes we wear. The demeanor we present to the world to the. All of these things lead to an outward appearance of what we want others to think we are. People engage in "back stage" behaviors when no audience is present. We whine and moan about the customers we deal with. Hair goes un-styled, make is wiped off. Clothing is comfortable and unrestricting. When a person conducts themselves in certain way not consistent with social expectations, it is often done secretly if this ...
One of the key ideas to Goffman is his idea of impression management. Through interaction with others in society, an impression of ones self is given off to others. This is automatic and inevitable. The way one perceives you is through this social interaction. This means that through messages that are given off, whether intended or unintended, they are the judgments by which people will hold their opinion of you (Layder 1998:172-175).
Erving Goffman uses a dramaturgical perspective in his discussion of impression management. Goffman’s analysis of the social world primarily centres around studies of the self and relationship to one’s identity created within a society. Through dramaturgy, Goffman uses the metaphor of performance theatre to convey the nature of human social interaction, drawing from the renowned quote “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players” from Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It.’ Much of our exploration of Goffman’s theories lies within the premise that individuals engage in impression management, and achieve a successful or unsuccessful performance. Impression management refers to the ways in which individuals attempt to control the impression that others have of them stemming from a basic human desire to be viewed by others in a favourable light. Goffman argues that our impressions are managed through a dramaturgical process whereby social life is played out like actors performing on a stage and our actions are dictated by the roles that we are playing in particular situations. In a social situation, the stage is where the encounter takes place, the actors are the people involved in the interaction, and the script is the set of social norms in which the actors must abide by. Just as plays have a front stage and back stage, this also applies in day-to-day interactions. Goffman’s theory of the front and back stage builds on Mead’s argument of the phases of the self. The front stage consists of all the public and social encounters with other people. It is similar to the ‘me’ which Mead talks about, as it involves public encounters as well as how others perceive you. Meanwhile the back stage, like the ‘I’, is the time spent with oneself reflecting on the interactions. Therefore, according to Goffman’s dramaturgical