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Sociology: Goffman

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    Goffman fred’s lecture Dramatism and the work of Goffman In terms of critical policy there wasn’t a great deal until the begin of the 90s until manin and smith Dramatism is the framework associated with Goffman and Goffman began writing in the 1950 his first book “the presentation of self in everyday life” presented in 1959 and after that he was a kind of maverick out on his own, producing a string of books containing what many at the time described as convincing journalistic accounts of how everyday live is managed by the individual. he views of Goffman weren’t simple but difficult there was the traditional view that this developed out of symbolical interactism developed from mead which is very important there are major differences also he was influences by an American journalism critic Kenif burke writing in the 1930 0r 40s after that he areas that he moved closer to fanomiolgy and * structuralism in that kind of view I emphasised last year was George Simmal what u can argue Goffman is doing is looking at common forms of behaviour in different context.

    More recently the main commentators including the handout I gave you by Collins, pointed to a strong connection to Durkheim arguing what Goffman is concerned with or social facts if u like the rules that produce social interaction and social order not individuals but Goffman differs from Durkheim in that he sees such order as fragile as constantly having to be built and rebuilt in everyday situations. Here the argument is that Goffman’s force is on the rituals that create and maintain order in everyday life. The traditional views Firstly the general theoretical framework that Goffman uses of dramatism.

    Secondly look at the presentation of self and look at how he himself does this. So firstly dramatism so you can argue that the term dramatism is to show the way individual act they attempt to manage to the impressions that other people see in other word interaction each individual puts on a show interaction then is innaigst to an actor interpretation of a script on a stage in front of an audience. An official on can argue that social approach highlights the two central features of meads analysis, it envasizes that action involves interpretation and action was rejective concou individuals are seen as guided performers.

    It also enficises the important of symbolism in interaction it enfieces that action is meaningful and is teridac in meaningful signigant context. Burg in particular enfices the symbolic stages in which action takes place and the props and the costumes that helps to maintain and create social interaction, Burg seen a court trail as a drama lawyers wearing wigs, a buraquisty is a drama he seen school classrooms as dramas were the teachers dresses up but the pupils often dress down.

    Arthur Britain makes an intresetion in relating the argument to social structure hes argues that social structures can only be realised through dramas symbols weathers it’s a drama of class, nationalist or enthinisty as Britain puts it the way that “men define situations is more than a reflection of thee intresets definition derive dramatically from the very nature of social life men are animals who can symbols there predicaments to themselves. (Mead) so social life is then seen to by symbolic action on a symbolic stage. Burke attements to develop a framework for the dramatic anyalist of social lifehes examines what he calls the grammar/structure of social interaction in other words what are the major contickuants of social interaction and how do they inter relate. Burk finds five elements that have to be taken into account of in an interaction social interaction. . act 2. sense 3. agent 4. purpose 5. agency The act is what is done, it’s the script if you like there are typical acts drink coffee etc all of which are interruptive all of which are symbolic displays communicating to the audience what’s going on what’s happening. Secondly sense is the situation the context is the setting and the props doctors and surgeries, buricatrs have offices. Agent and the agent relates o the individual that carries out the action the individual acts with an identity with an image of self that is presented to the audience and what Burke is arguing the image of self and identity is going to relate to the act that is being carried out and the context in which it is being carried out. So in this framework identity or if you like self drawing from mead here aren’t fix or lodged in the individual is something that is presented to and audiences to bring off a particular display or act. This notion of self is part of bring off this act or presentation. Why do people do things? otives, in sociology motives are taking seriously indeed that’s the rest for there behaviour and if you can identify their motives your can explain their behaviour in this framework motives again are something that are presented to an audience that relate to the act that’s being carried who carrying out the act and who carrying out the act? Motives aren’t being fixed they depend on the act that’s being carried out who’s doing it and were? (E. G. interview for why you came to UUJ) so motives aren’t fixed and aren’t solid things they are things presented to audience to pull of a display / interaction.

    Finally agency this is a more theoretical point this is where the whole lots is realised through language and communication it’s because we are language using creatures and so on. If u look at bibliogy of Burke you will see that he is well known for books of grammar the grammar of motives and the retricof motives shows how languages gets used the retricof motivations who’s how various polities use language to preswade us so that second book shows how languages gets used in different ways for different communication.

    So that’s what Burke has to say but the five key elements of social interaction show what Goffman has to say clearly. So to move on and look at Goffman who uses Burkes framework to look at social interaction and Goffman has produced a whole series of books on impression management and his key writing was the book “ the presentation of self in everyday life” on relations in public etc its all about those kinds of things.

    To look at the presentation of self in some detail not to much detail offily what Goffman is concerned with is the presentation of self and impression management and he argues right at the beginning that a creation of an impression involves to slightly different kinds sign actions he distinguish between the impression an individual gives and the impression an individual gives off relates directly to what the individual is doing and the individual has no control over this.

    The impression that an individual gives off relates to the more taken for granted aspects dress, demeanour etc. Goffman argues that the audience will makes judgements on the based of these factors; Goffman argues that such action can be sonically an actor can deliberately play a part to con the audience and Goffman is interested in conman. Analid Roads the human reader and social processes a sort for article on conmen.

    He’s interested in conmen because he argue what conmen do consciously we all do subconsciously all of the time because he argues that an piece of interaction involves procedures that tell the audience what’s been done what kind of person is doing it and why they are doing it in other words were all in concern with presenting to an audience but Goffman developed a number of concepts fro understanding presentation what he calls a performance and he argues that and he argues that and important feature of the performance is the front and the front first of all involves a seen and the props doctors have surgeries hospital they wear white coats, dress, appearance, manors and age etc Goffman argues that some front require more work to produce and convincing performance than others police men have uniforms big boots and guns etc he talks of nurses surgical nurses have an easier time of pulling of a performance than medical nurses as they have to take temperatures, colour has to work harder to pull off this performance. Goffman argues that all performance have to be put on performance have to be realised, not all performance come off Goffman see that your can play to seriously or not seriously enough or forget your lines that happens as a result of embarrassment and Goffman see performance not only by individuals but also by teams groups of individual who bring off and performance together.

    For Goffman sees this in the every day she talks of husband and wife entertaining and he argues that a picture of a team performance is that they attempt to portray an ideal image of marriage so he argues that husband and wife entertaining they are going to present an ideally image of marriage so the public get the impression that they are happy even if this isn’t the case. Goffman then leads on from that relates point to the back regions and the front regions and the front regions is where the display takes place that’s were the performance happens and the back regions is were people can let down there hair and prepare their performance and talk about their performance and quit a lot of the research he done for this book was on an isle in the Shetlands in a hotel and he see the dining room of the hotel was the front region and the kitchen was the back region, the front region everything prefect and as soon as they go to the kitchen everything changes.

    What Goffman developed was a whole handful of concepts of everyday life of how interaction is produced and presented to an audience and the presentation of self provides a core set of concept and concerns which Goffman develops important issue particular are the rituals, the rictual that help pull in interaction together the hellos goodbyes greetings etc all to do with confirming relationship also looks at the way individual work to satain each other face in interaction that all go together to maintain interaction and there for a common reality and in his last paper the interaction order he reafermed his approach and looked at the relationship between the interaction order and what he called the intuitional order in other words the larger structural features of society and he argues that the interaction order is the relation in its own right as Durkiem would say the “ reality suiegenorous” in other words the procedures of presentation the procedures involved interactism are not a reflection of anything else and don’t derive from anything else they have there own dinaic and there own source. Similar the structural feature of but he argues the two orders are related because the structural feature of society i. e. gender age class enter into interaction and are realised within the interaction order some people are treated differently in interaction as a result of there class, age gender etc so these are feature found in the interaction order and not determined

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