Writing Assignment 3
December 3, 2010
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
“When an individual enters the presence of others, they commonly seek to acquire
information about him or to bring into play information about him already possessed. They
will be interested in his general socio-economic status, his conception of self, his attitude
towards them, his competence, his trustworthiness, etc. Although some of this information is
sought as an end in itself, there are usually quite practical reasons for acquiring it. Information
about the individual helps to define the situation, enabling others to know in advance what he
will expect of them and what they may expect of him. Informed in these ways, the others will
know how best to act in order to call forth a desired response from him.”-Erving Goffman In “The Presentation of Self In Everyday Life,” by Erving Goffman he seeks to show the reader how everyone sets out to present themselves to the world around them, always trying to maintain the role they have selected for themselves, since those whom they meet not only try to decide what role it is you are playing, but also whether or not you are competent to play that role. Erving Goffman portrays everyday interactions as strategic encounters in which one is attempting to sell a particular self-image and, accordingly, a particular definition of the situation. I agree with Erving Goffman, in everyday life I believe we all play different roles to different people to portray ourselves in the way we want to be seen. The impression we have on people and society depends on the character and role we play. In my life today I try to please people the best way I can while still making myself happy I can relate to Goffman’s writings because I also believe myself that we are all actors playing a role in society that we choose to play.
The ways we portray ourselves to the people around us can differ from friends to parents because we want a sense of...
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