Goffman's Key Terms and Consumer Experiences

956 WordsFeb 24, 20184 Pages
The individual self is made up of different roles which actors enact; these may be one’s family roles, community roles, and professional roles and so on. Communication of these roles, so that others begin to understand what part of the individual self is being enacted, occurs either non-verbally or verbally (Goffman 1959). The way in which an actor dresses and accessorizes helps the actor communicate the role they are playing. Goffman (1959) refers to this as “standardized expressive equipment”. For instance, seeing a woman wearing a crown and sash communicates that she is a beauty pageant contestant. Hearing someone address her as “Miss___” also helps to explicate her role as beauty pageant contestant. According to Goffman (1959), categorization, identification and comparison guide social interactions. For the actor to perform successfully, they must first know the category or group to which he or she belongs. In essence, individuals understand and know who they are by the category that they fit into. For example, a pageant contestant recognizes the relationship that she or he has with other contestants and the group as a whole. A group of pageant contestants competing together at a single pageant is typically referred to as a pageant system. Further, the self and the roles it plays are often times compared with other groups that are similar or dissimilar from its own group. Thus, the pageant contestant compares the individual self and the group of pageant contestants to

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