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Goffman theory of self presentation

AS Communication and Culture

Hannah Dearden

on 26 September 2014

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Transcript of Goffman theory of self presentation

Theory of self-presentation
The roles we play
Goffman was interested in the way we present ourselves to others
He called it ‘creating a desired impression’ and said we all play ‘roles’ and create ‘masks’ or ‘personas’ for each role.
Setting affects how we play our role – he calls it “Front” and "Back" stage – how does behaviour change?
"We are all actors within the social world"
Goffman argues that the self is simply nothing more than “self presentations” and “role performances.”i.e. We are acting
Our social life is a theatre, with social scripts, performances and actors / roles that perform in the 'Front' and 'Back' Regions of self.
The concept of depicting social life as a theatre, Goffman developed the term dramaturgy.
-This is Impression Management
-Social interactions is like a stage, the self promotes scenery
-To repeat, that scenery is divided into two regions, the Front and Back Regions (or the front and back regions of behaviour)
Where the performance is given
The actor engages in, and performs their role for the audience
While the Self is in the FRONT STAGE of behavior, the performance must meet certain standards
Where the supressed facts make an appearance
Here the performer can relax; drop TH front, relinquish speaking his lines, and step out of character.
Where the performer can reliably expect that no member of the audience will intrude.
Kept closed from the audience, the entire region is meant to be kept hidden.

Eg: Perfect examples of back stage regions are kitchens within restaurants, this area is not meant for customers to enter.
Front stage
Back stage
Over to you... Look at the various roles and apply Goffman’s role to them
Now... relate Goffman's analogy to
What roles do we play?
Now apply it to YOU!
Can humans guide and control how others see them?
Are humans different in different social settings?
Do we become who we think others want us to be?
He believed...
The Stanford prison experiment
This dramatically illustrates the power of DRAMATURGY and roles in shaping behaviour
Full transcript