Erving Goffman and Dramaturgy

Decent Essays
Goffman was the first to introduce the topic of dramaturgy in his work. Dramaturgy is his idea that life is a play. The people are actors and the every day world around us is our stage. (1959, p.13) He uses the image of a theatre performance to express the behaviour of people in everyday social interactions. Although not always aware of it, every individual in a social situation is assigned a role in the performance. Every individual obtains a role in social interaction and the audience observes and reacts to the performance. Goffman discussed the three different regions of performance as the front stage, the back stage and off stage. Each region has a particular impact on one’s performance.
The front stage is the area where the performers are in front of an audience. The individual’s performance defines the situation (Goffman,1959, p.13). Majority of our time is spent in the position of front stage where we enact our roles. (Goffman,1959, p.14). Almost any place where we are in the presence of others we are in the position of front stage. The back stage is where individuals can be themselves without having to take on a specific role.(Goffman,1959, p.14) This is also a place where one can arrange themselves for the front stage. Off stage is when one is no longer performing and specific performances may be given to explicit audiences.
While in the front stage the performer is aware that they are acting in front of people and acts appropriately to the given situation. But
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