Unlike other writers who have used this metaphor, Goffman seems to take all elements of acting into consideration: an actor performs on a setting which is constructed of a stage and a backstage; the props in both settings direct his action; he is being watched by an audience , but at the same time he may be an audience for his viewers' play.
According to Goffman, the social actor in many areas of life will take on an already established role, with pre-existing front and props as well as the costume he would wear in front of a specific audience. The actor's main goal is to keep coherent and adjust to the different settings offered him.
This is done mainly through interaction with other actors. To a certain extent this imagery bridges structure and agency enabling each while saying that structure and agency can limit each other. A major theme that Goffman treats throughout the work is the fundamental importance of having an agreed upon definition of the situation in a given interaction, which serves to give the interaction coherency.
In interactions or performances the involved parties may be audience members and performers simultaneously; the actors usually foster impressions that reflect well upon themselves and encourage the others, by various means, to accept their preferred definition. The symmetry vs.
Symmetry occurs whenever there is an harmony between what these two modes of expressions communicate, Asymmetry is whenever these two do not express same things. Thus, say, when a student who had been yawning all along a lecture, nevertheless says he had enjoyed the talk greatly, then there is an asymmetry in what these two modes of expressions communicate.
Performers all have to share the same idea of the impression they want to give. If everybody plays his role according to his own understanding, the total impression would be the chaos. It includes what their social statuses, their relationship in this particular situation, their intentions etc. For that purpose they employ a number of means that serve as symbols e. People always enter an interaction with some intentions concerning the interaction.
Hence its to their advantage to be able to control the interaction and guide it in the desired direction, in other words to enforce their definition of the situation. The resulting working consensus is then a product of the efforts of all participants to enforce their own desired definition of the situation, under the restriction that they want to avoid a conflict. Through this performance, the individual, or actor, gives meaning to themselves, to others, and to their situation.
These performances deliver impressions to others and information is exchanged to confirm identity. The actor may or may not be aware of their performance or have an objective of their performance, however the audience is always attributing meaning it and to the actor.
Belief in the Part One is Playing There is a different degree as to how much an individual believes that the expression one is putting up as social performance represents the true reality.
But this book becomes particularly interesting when it moves away from the individual as the focal point of presentation and onto teams, groups and organisations. What is most interesting about this is the relationship between a performance and the audience. And the expectations of an audience are a key factor in the path and direction of a performance. A Clockwork Orange anyone? There are nice instances in this — in a lot of ways this book is a group of examples strung together to paint a picture — where these relationships between performer, audience and the disinterested are troubled.
The metaphor of the performance is extended in this book — he even talks about back stage and front stage and what happens when audience members see into the back stage with the actors relaxing for a moment out of character. Better still, he talks about how almost invariably people backstage tend to downgrade those they are performing for. Like the child who bows his head in submission to the teacher only to poke his tongue out at her once her back is turned, we seem to love to point out how foolish those are who fall for our performances.
There is also a lot of talk here about how people develop warning signals, or prompts, to alert other team members that it is time to go back into character. Talking loudly to let your mum know you have arrived home with a friend so she has time to quickly pop things into the dishwasher and sit back down casually as if she had been a portrait all day long. Teamwork in maintaining a performance is essential. This is true as much in families as in organisations. The idea that Grant is playing an advertising executive is utterly inspired.
Everything is subtext made explicit by Mason. This is, of course, something from Kafka.
The actor knows he or she is being watched and acts accordingly. The inception of The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life was originally born of an ethnographic study based in the Shetland Islands. The back region or back stage is kept closed from the audience, the entire region is meant to be kept hidden. This is the thing, our performance requires our audience to be somewhat forgiving. It is like St Peter walking on the water — he was fine until he started to doubt and the wind picked up giving him good reason to doubt.
Park, to name a few. Keating, M.
Front The expressive equipment that performers use intentionally or unintentionally during their performances constitutes the 'front'. While the Self is in the Front Region of behavior the performance of the individual embodies certain standards. Finally, the off-stage region is where individual actors meet the audience members independently of the team performance on the front stage.
Better still, he talks about how almost invariably people backstage tend to downgrade those they are performing for. This is true as much in families as in organisations. Some people sincerely believe in the parts they are playing, they invest their true selves in the impression they give off, this is the typical case. Belief in the Part One is Playing There is a different degree as to how much an individual believes that the expression one is putting up as social performance represents the true reality. Dramatic Realization Human actions are not done only for their own inherent sake in the presence of others, they are fundamentally social in nature. If he does it well then the audience will understand it otherwise there is always the possibility of misunderstanding.
Highmore, B. This often leads to the dilemma of whether one should focus on doing whatever they are doing "for their own sake", or should one be concerned more about expressing what they are doing to others.
The inception of The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life was originally born of an ethnographic study based in the Shetland Islands. The actor's main goal is to keep coherent and adjust to the different settings offered him.
Inconsistency and contradiction between appearance and manner may occur and will confuse and upset an audience. Of course, the fifth way is what Goffman calls dramaturgically, the performance and staging that goes into creating the representation that is sought after. Having our 'performance' shown as being based on a fraud, or being seen as a fraud, is obviously a nightmare many of us share. In social interaction, as in theatrical performance, there is a front region where the performers individuals are on stage in front of the audiences.