SOC388H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Erving Goffman, Personal Identity, Ideal Type

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27 Feb 2013
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ERVING GOFFMAN
developed perspective in sociology- Dramaturgical Approach (involved face to face inter-
actions) using the metaphor of dramaturgy which is theatre (same as performing a role)
-we have to perform our roles, just like actors
He got the idea from Schutz- that we have multiple selves- Goffman tried to undermine the dis-
tinction between sincere and con people (since we all present ourselves in different ways)
Impression Management- we are managing the impression that we give off to others
to convey the role in the interaction, we manage the impression we give to others
Persona (latin) mask worn by others (conveys idea we are wearing a mask)
If we already know what roles are expected of us and others, we obtain different roles
These roles get solidified, expect you to be the same
We have scripts, that have already been established before interactions
EVERY INTERACTION HAS 2 PARTS
1. Definition of Situation - we often do not get to define the situation, it is defined before
hand
- we maintain the definition of situation of what is going on and we use cultural info to expect in
a situation (info based on prior experience usually) ex. know how to be a good student because
you have seen how you did it or how others do it.
- Situations are Framed we use a frames to see how situations are (wedding-cant wear sneak-
ers) to see how we are going to behave in the next social interaction
2. Personal identity
Any interaction has public shared definition of situation, regardless of private feelings.
Public agreement guides our interaction. It works as a contract, we agree and understand what
role we are expected to play and what roles we are expecting others to play. This is Normative
order in 2 ways: 1. right to expect people to behave in particular way
Obligation- to perform a certain way (prof to know info)
Right-expect to be treated in particular way (to be treated by students in a way)
This process causes people to have cultural expectations and ideals (ideal type of business person
is to wear a suit for example)
Dramatic Realization An attempt to make traits that would go unnoticed as real aspects of
the performance
Front Stage/Back Stage
WHY?
We want to be accepted (normative aspect)
If we have to put so much effort, interactions are quite fragile- so we have to put effort in manag-
ing interpersonal skills to manage our interactions with others
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Document Summary

Erving goffman developed perspective in sociology- dramaturgical approach (involved face to face inter- actions) using the metaphor of dramaturgy which is theatre (same as performing a role) We have to perform our roles, just like actors. He got the idea from schutz- that we have multiple selves- goffman tried to undermine the dis- tinction between sincere and con people (since we all present ourselves in different ways) Impression management- we are managing the impression that we give off to others to convey the role in the interaction, we manage the impression we give to others. Persona (latin) mask worn by others (conveys idea we are wearing a mask) If we already know what roles are expected of us and others, we obtain different roles. These roles get solidified, expect you to be the same. We have scripts, that have already been established before interactions.

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