The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Erving Goffman

1040 Words Jul 16th, 2018 5 Pages
Erving Goffman (1922-1983) was born in Manville, Alberta, Canada. In 1953, he received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. Goffman was also a professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, and the Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Before his death in 1983, he received the MacIver Award (1961), the In Medias Res Award (1978), and was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Goffman has been noted as the most important American sociological theorist in the second half of the twentieth century. In 1963, Goffman published Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity to illustrate the lives of stigmatized …show more content…
Furthermore, there are two types of people in the world—those who are stigmatized, and those who are “normal.” Goffman defines “normals” as being without stigma, and easily accepted in society. Stigma focuses on the interactions between these individuals within social settings. During these interactions, if a person’s stigma is plainly known and seen, the person may be considered discredited. There are “symbols” used during interactions that convey social information. There are both “prestige symbols” and stigma symbols, which can convey high status or identity discrepancies. Who one associates themselves with also reflects one’s social identity, conveying that individual’s social identity.
Throughout the book, Goffman demonstrates a divide that occurs between the “us” and “them.” As explained by Goffman, stigmatized individuals are not quite human. The stigmatized individual,
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