Topics: Sociology, Performance, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life Pages: 1 (455 words) Published: February 11, 2013
What is Dramaturgy? How does this apply to the front stage, back stage, and role distancing noted in Brym and Lie? First developed by Erving Goffman, dramaturgical analysis is a cynical method for sociologists to analyze all social interactions. Dramaturgy is used to try and explain why we do what we do by comparing us to actors in a theatrical presentation, stating that we only do what we do in order to get the best possible reaction from the audience, hoping that they view us in a favourable manner. We are thrust onto the stage of everyday life the moment we are born, and our socialization into society consists of learning how to understand and then be able to play assigned roles based on what is expected of us. We act out our roles in the company of others, who are in turn acting their roles in interaction with us. Goffman believed that whatever we do, we are playing out some role on the stage of life, competing for attention from the audience, attempting to get them to view us in the best possible light. This theory explains that there is no one "self," but many multiple "selfs" that surface depending on the situation and what our 'me' (to use one of Mead's theories) thinks is the most socially acceptable. The front stage is a term used when we are putting on our performance: so it basically refers to anywhere there is an audience that we are expected to perform for. The back stage refers to the behind the scenes moments where we are not performing, but preparing for our performance. Meaning that even when we are alone we are still considered an actor in the play of life. Though, it can also refer to moments away from the main audience where you converse with other actors that are putting on the same performance as yourself. As an example, if you work in a restaurant, being a hard worker and a friendly server is the show you are putting on- the "self" you have chosen to be for the moment. The patrons are your front stage, being the ones you are performing...
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