Sociologcical Analysis: Front and Back Stage

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Omar Mulamekic 4/24/12
Professor Trimbur Sociology 101 Sociological Analysis: Front Stage and Back Stage
The concepts of “front stage” and “back stage” are very important aspects in our lives. In certain situations these roles come into play, categorizing certain behaviors into the “front stage” and others in the “back stage”. These concepts were developed by Erving Goffman and they can really help in a lot of scenarios. Front and back stages are basically roles and behaviors, stages or regions. Goffman describes that we give a “performance” every day to the people we interact with. He describes this performance as the presentation of self, a person’s efforts to create specific impressions in the minds of others. This process is sometimes called "impression management". There is a distinction between the” front “and “back stage” behavior. As the term applies, “front stage” actions are visible to the audience and are part of the performance. In other words, it’s what is presented to the individuals we interact with. “Back stage” behaviors are set off when no audience is present. It is usually in an area not visible to the audience and where the individual acts completely different from how they would act in front of the audience. Behaviors that wouldn’t be acceptable in front of the audience are carried out in the “back stage”. Before these interactions an individual typically prepares a role, or impression, that he or she wants to make on the other. These roles vary and depend on the term “breaking character”. This is basically when an unexpected intrusion occurs; a backstage performance is interrupted by someone who is not meant to see it. This makes a big problem, where the front stage and back stage behaviors are mixed up and the roles are confused. In addition to this, the way the audience for a personal performance plays a part in determining the course it takes. For...
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