All the World's a Stage, the Dramaturgy

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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 sociology world. He ended his writing career going back to address more evidence that we are all performers, he ended on the same note he started on. He passed on November 19th, 1982. ((Blackwood, 2011) Micro-Sociology is the study of a small group of people to understand how society works as a whole. Ervine Goffman advocated this idea and used face-to-face interactions as a basis to understand sociology. I believe that this is a very true idea because without individuals there is no society. I also believe that how we act as individuals is what makes a society how it is. For example as individuals we actually enjoy conflict when the conflicts involves others. In high school I remember that everyone always wanted to stop in the hallway to watch people fight. On a larger scale society watches reality Television shows like “Bad girls Club” just to see these conflicts. Everything we do individually affects us as a society. Another thing that Goffman believed in was how society is what makes us who we are, this is called social interactionism. Yes we make up society but in turn society molds us to who we are as well. For example a child is born completely without morals and values. These things are taught to the child by family and ultimately society. The child is taught killing is deviant and unacceptable. It is also taught that being overweight is a concrete stigma for females of society. Therefore if the child is a girl they will constantly want to be skinny, even at a young age. My Humanities professor was talking about how his 8 year old daughter was called fat the other day in school. Now the young girl will not eat very much. This not something we are born with, these are learned values that society teaches. I have my own personal experience with social interactionism. My whole life society has shaped me to be who I am. It’s almost like a very subtle, yet powerful, form of peer pressure. For example I think that if it weren’t for the fact that society teaches...
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