Erving Goffman

Topics: Sociology, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Erving Goffman Pages: 2 (636 words) Published: April 11, 2013


Erving Goffman’s Concept of Dramaturgy
This essay is about Sociologist Erving Goffman who developed the concept of dramaturgy. This is idea that life is like a never-ending play in which people are actors. Goffman believed that when we are born, we are thrust onto a stage called everyday life, and that our socialization consists of learning how to play our assigned roles from other people. Here we play out our roles in the company of others, who in turn play out their roles in interaction with us. He believed that whatever we do, we are playing out some role on the stage of life. He distinguished between front stages and back stages and impression management. The front region is comparable to the stage where the performance occurs it is a carefully choreographed and ordered performance. Therefore front stage can be anywhere we act in front of others. In the example front stage will be a classroom. In front stage we have roles, audiences, settings and communication. The role is a set of connecting behaviors. Role conflict is a inconsistency among the roles corresponding to two or more statuses while on the other hand role strain or "role pressure" may arise when there is a conflict in the demands of roles or from accepting roles that are beyond an individual's capacity inconsistency. So the teacher can have the role of a teacher, a pedophile, and a daughter and volleyball player. These roles can conflict when she is at school teaching and might find herself with an attraction for one of her students and maybe a strain when she has school work to correct and has a volleyball match that same evening. Setting is how we decorate our environment and the props we use. She might decorate with family photo on her desk and her degrees on the wall to distract the public to believing she is a loving, hardworking and a normal everyday person and the classroom props would be chairs, tables and books. The audiences are the persons...
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