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All the World's a Stage, the Dramaturgy

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All the World's a Stage, the Dramaturgy

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  • December 2012
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All The World’s a stage

“All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts” Shakespeare. Although Shakespeare wasn’t a sociologist, I think this quote profoundly sounds like Ervine Goffman’s ideas of dramaturgy and impression management. I agree with both Shakespeare and Ervine. We all have a part to play in this world and we do play it. To me Ervine Goffman’s ideas about self and dramaturgy are the most applicable social ideas in my own life. He believed we do something called impression management. I have actually noticed myself using impression management every day. I have also noticed that in sociology we really need to understand face to face interactions of individuals to understand a society as a whole. He also believed in a concept called symbolic interactionism. He believed that social interactions are what make someone who they are. I believe that to understand his ideas better it is imperative that you know a little about him. Goffman was born June 11, 1922(Blackwood, 2011) to a Jewish Ukrainian couple in Canada. Initially, he received his bachelors in sociology at the University of Toronto. Then he went to the University of Chicago to achieve his masters and doctorate. Chicago was the center for many micro-sociologists and symbolic interationists like Goffman. His ideas must have made him fit right in with all the other sociologists studying at University of Chicago. He also studied a year in Shetland and wrote a book called The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. This is where he refers to the theory of us always being onstage. He then went to Berkley to teach about Sociology and Anthropology (which he also studied). Goffman also went onto to write about his ideas of total institution (the sociology term for somewhere completely blocked off from normal society). He wrote many books over his life time and he remained a very important man in the...