Goffman 's Dramaturgical Perspective : An Influential American Socialist Of The Twentieth Century

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For Erving Goffman and the Symbolic Interactionists generally, a self is not so much a singular and fixed entity as a contingent response to a social context. (i) Discuss this statement with particular reference to Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective, and (ii) Explain how this perspective helps us to understand embarrassment. Introduction Erving Goffman is considered the most influential American Socialist of the twentieth century. His ability to observe individuals and make sense of those observations is what he became most recognised for. His research focuses primarily on the sociology of everyday life, social interaction, the social construction of self, framing of experience and social stigmas. He is best sighted for his study of symbolic interaction. Published in 1956, ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life’ focuses on the subject of the self not so much as a singular and fixed entity but as a contingent response to a social context. It was the first book published which identifies face to face interaction as a concept of social studies. Through his writings Goffman uses theatrical imagery in order to depict the fundamentals of human and social interaction. The core principles derived from this are referred to as ‘The Dramaturgical Model of Social Life. This was a term developed by Goffman, which uses the metaphor of the theatre to better our understanding of social interaction. It illustrates how we as individuals in our everyday lives are referred to as actors

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