Impression Management

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I decided to go with the sociologist Erving Goffman’s theory of how in certain social situations, we are all like actors and actresses playing a role, referred to as impression management. He sought to describe and explain the aspects of interaction in a consistently sociological matter. He called his research, or his field, “interaction order”. (Smith 1999). Erving Goffman used symbolic interactionism in his studies, his theory is that we all act differently in different settings. A person has the ability to chose the person that they want to present to certain social groups. A person can be an actor or actress, yet can also be their own “audience” at the same time. Goffman referrers the ability as using “front-stage ” and “back-stage” behavior as we create identities to fit into social groups, and often present different identities in each social or group setting. Impression management is used as an attempt to influence perceptions of oneself to others. I believe that this sort of imagery goes hand in hand with Edward T. Hall’s theory of everyone using proxemics in social interactions. As stated in Introduction to Sociology, people are more comfortable having family and friends physically close when interacting in social settings. (Vissings 2011).

There are three setting in which a person will use this impression behavior in. The main setting that a person will use this sort of impression management is in the work life. A person will present an image to those that they work with, that they probably, and more likely, do not show with their family and close friends. A person can use this sort of behavior to set an image of oneself to the people that they work around. If you want to get to a management position, a person who has no history of a leadership skill, can mimic a manager they work with, and can use what is called impression construction. (Dubrin 2010). A person is motivated by their desire to create a positive image, and take the steps to...
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