Analysis of ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life’ Essay

October 22, 2017 March 26th, 2018 Religion

Erving Goffman’s The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life provides a elaborate description and analysis of procedure and significance in mundane interaction. Goffman writes from a symbolic interactionist position. stressing a qualitative analysis of the constituents of the synergistic procedure. Through a sociological analysis he explores the inside informations of single individuality. group dealingss. and the motion and synergistic significance of information. Goffman’s perspective provides penetration into the nature of societal interaction and the psychological science of the person.

Goffman employs a “dramaturgical approach” in his survey. refering himself with the manner of presentation employed by the histrion and its significance in the broader societal context ( Goffman. 240 ) . Interaction is viewed as a “performance. ” shaped by environment and audience. constructed to supply others with “impressions” that are harmonic with the coveted ends of the histrion ( 17 ) . The public presentation exists irrespective of the mental province of the person. as character is frequently imputed to the person in malice of his or her deficiency of religion in the public presentation. Goffman uses the illustration of the physician who is forced to give a placebo to a patient. aware of its powerlessness. as a consequence of the desire of the patient for more extended intervention ( 18 ) . In this manner. the single develops individuality or character as a map of interaction with others. through an exchange of information that allows for more specific definitions of individuality and behaviour.

The procedure of set uping societal individuality becomes closely allied to the construct of the “front. ” which is described as “that portion of the individual’s public presentation which regularly maps in a general and fixed manner to specify the state of affairs for those who observe the performance” ( 22 ) . The front Acts of the Apostless as a vehicle of standardisation. leting for others to understand the person on the footing of projected character traits that have normative significances. As a “collective representation. ” the forepart establishes proper “setting. ” “appearance. ” and “manner” for the societal function assumed by the histrion. uniting synergistic behaviour with the personal forepart ( 27 ) . The histrion. in order to show a realistic forepart. is forced to make full the responsibilities of the societal function to pass on activities and the features of the function to other people in a consistent mode. In building a forepart. information about the histrion is given off through a assortment of communicative beginnings. all of which must be controlled to convert the audience of the rightness of behaviour. Believability. as a consequence. is constructed in footings of verbal meaning. which is used by the histrion to set up purpose. is used by the audience to verify the honestness of statements made by the person.

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Attempts are made to show an “idealized” version of the forepart. more consistent with the norms and Torahs of society than the behaviour of the histrion when non before an audience ( 35 ) . Information covering with deviant behaviour and belief is concealed from the audience in a procedure of “mystification. ” doing outstanding those features that are socially approved. This legitimatizes both the societal function of the person and the model to which the function belongs ( 67 ) . Goffman besides explores nature of group kineticss through a treatment of “teams” and the relationship between public presentation and audience. He uses the construct of the squad to exemplify the work of a group of persons who “co-operate” in public presentation. trying to accomplish ends sanctioned by the group ( 79 ) . Co-operation may attest in the premise of differing functions for each person. determined by the purpose of the public presentation. Goffman refers to the “shill. ” a member of the squad who “provides a seeable theoretical account for the audience of the sort of response the performing artists are seeking. ” advancing exhilaration for the realisation of a end. as an illustration of a “discrepant role” in the squad ( 146 ) . In each circumstance. the single assumes a forepart that is perceived to heighten the group’s public presentation.

As a consequence. dissension can be carried out in the absence of an audience. where the public presentation alterations and may be made without the menace of damaging the ends of the squad or single. This creates a division between the squad and audience. Goffman describes the division between squad public presentation and audience in footings of “region. ” depicting the function of puting in the distinction of actions taken by persons ( 107 ) . Goffman divides part into “front. ” “back. ” and “outside” the phase. based upon the relationship of the audience to the public presentation. While the “official stance” of the squad is seeable in their front phase presentation. in the wing. “the feeling fostered by the presentation is wittingly contradicted as a affair of class. ” bespeaking a more “truthful” type of public presentation ( 112 ) . To be outside the phase involves the inability to derive entree to the public presentation of the squad. described as an “audience segregation” in which specific public presentations are given to specific audiences. Therefore allows the squad to make the appropriate forepart for the demands of each audience ( 137 ) .

This everyday allows the squad. single histrion. and audience to continue proper relationships in interaction and the constitutions to which the interactions belong. Though elaborate and really good portrayed. Goffman’s survey does non supply a complete description of synergistic procedures. In researching the building of presentation among single and squads. Goffman does non to the full research the nature of marginalized persons. This is important due to the impression that these persons and the groups could presume slightly different functions of interaction among members due to their placement outside of major groups. The methodological attack used by Goffman was besides slightly inconsistent and the attacks to proving to garner informations seemed random at times.

By restricting his work Goffman besides eliminates the possibility of using the activities of the mundane to the larger societal universe. Goffman’s The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life overall provides penetration into the nature of interpersonal interaction and the establishments to which interaction applies. Despite methodological analysis. Goffman’s work shows an analytical thoroughness in covering with an interesting country of societal idea. Through an enquiry into the mundane life of humanity. Goffman’s work provides an effectual foundation for understanding the nature of societal interaction and the development of the person.


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