Stigma Quotes by Erving Goffman
Erving Goffman and the Performed Self
Goffman's Front Stage and Back Stage Behavior
Face-to-face interaction of even the simplest sort is a far more socially intricate operation than we generally recognize. It is rife with unacknowledged rituals, tacit understandings, covert symbolic exchanges, impression management techniques, and calculated strategic maneuverings. The Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman went to the Shetland Islands in the s to do fieldwork on the social structure of the island community for his PhD dissertation. However, he found that the complex interpersonal relationships in the hotel he stayed at to be a much richer site for social study. Goffman describes the way that people try to control the impression they make on others in social encounters.
In it, Goffman uses the imagery of theater in order to portray the nuances and significance of face-to-face social interaction. Goffman puts forth a theory of social interaction that he refers to as the dramaturgical model of social life. According to Goffman, social interaction may be likened to a theater, and people in everyday life to actors on a stage, each playing a variety of roles.
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Introduction to Social Interaction
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life is a sociology book by Erving Goffman , in which the author uses the imagery of the theatre in order to portray the importance of human social interaction; this would become known as Goffman's dramaturgical analysis approach. In , the International Sociological Association listed the work as the tenth most important sociological book of the twentieth century. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life was the first book to treat face-to-face interaction as a subject of sociological study. Goffman treated it as a kind of report in which he frames out the theatrical performance that applies to face-to-face interactions. At the same time, the person the individual is interacting with is trying to form and obtain information about the individual. Goffman also believed that all participants in social interactions are engaged in practices to avoid being embarrassed or embarrassing others.
In sociology, the terms "front stage" and "back stage" refer to different behaviors that people engage in every day. Developed by the late sociologist Erving Goffman, they form part of the dramaturgical perspective within sociology that uses the metaphor of the theater to explain social interaction. He argues that social life is a "performance" carried out by "teams" of participants in three places: "front stage," "back stage," and "off stage. The dramaturgical perspective also emphasizes the importance of the "setting," or context, in shaping the performance, the role of a person's "appearance" in social interaction, and the effect the "manner" of a person's behavior has on the overall performance. Running through this perspective is a recognition that social interaction is influenced by the time and place in which it occurs as well as by the "audience" present to witness it. It is also determined by the values, norms , beliefs, and common cultural practices of the social group or the locale where it occurs.