Essay on Presentation of Self

Decent Essays
Writing Assignment 3
December 3, 2010

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
“When an individual enters the presence of others, they commonly seek to acquire
information about him or to bring into play information about him already possessed. They
will be interested in his general socio-economic status, his conception of self, his attitude
towards them, his competence, his trustworthiness, etc. Although some of this information is
sought as an end in itself, there are usually quite practical reasons for acquiring it. Information
about the individual helps to define the situation, enabling others to know in advance what he
will expect of them and what they may expect of him. Informed in these ways, the others will
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The image my parents may have thought me to be, at times, actually was not me. I wanted to be my parent’s princess and the golden child, so I acted in a way to seek their approval which in some ways was not the “real” me. These conditions occur because of the existence of self presentational rules according to Goffman. “When one individual enters the presence of others, he will want to discover the facts of the situation. Were he to possess this information.”Also when meeting an individual we try to get information about them so we can act accordingly to their approval. How we act with one friend may not be the way we act with another. We determine the person’s status and attitude and decide for ourselves if we want to be a part of that. When we gather the information when first meeting someone, it determines the way we think and act towards them. Erving Goffman revolves his view of the human life around the belief that we are all actors who have both a front stage behavior and a back stage behavior. From an early age we have become skilled actors and move in and out of roles with precision such as with our family and friends. We follow the formal societal rules when we are on the front stage reciting a script, playing a role. This would include going to work, presenting ourselves as the person we should uphold to take part in society. On the other side, Goffman says our back stage behavior is informal, as we'd act when we are
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