Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

by Erving Goffman


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A notable contribution to our understanding of ourselves. This book explores the realm of human behavior in social situations and the way that we appear to others.  Dr. Goffman uses the metaphor of theatrical performance as a framework. Each person in everyday social intercourse presents himself and his activity to others, attempts to guide and cotnrol the impressions they form of him, and employs certain techniques in order to sustain his performance, just as an actor presents a character to an audience.  The discussions of these social techniques offered here are based upon detailed research and observation of social customs in many regions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385094023
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/28/1959
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 119,029
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Erving Goffman was born in Canada in 1922. He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1945 and then studied at the University of Chicago, receiving his M.A. in 1949 and his Ph.D. in 1953.  For a year he lived on one of the smaller of the Shetland Isles while he gathered material for a dissertation on that community, and later he served as a visiting scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington. Mr. Goffman is the author of several articles and book reviews which have appeared in such periodicals as Psychiatry and the American Journal of Sociology. He is also the author of, among other works, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Asylums, Interaction Ritual,and Stigma

Table of Contents

Preface 9

Acknowledgements 11

Introduction 13

1 Performances 28

2 Teams 83

3 Regions and Region Behaviour 109

4 Discrepant Roles 141

5 Communication out of Character 166

6 The Arts of Impression Management 203

7 Conclusion 231

Index 249

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Presentation of Self in Everyday Life 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
jorgearanda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A generally engaging and broad exploration of the ways in which we attempt to define the situations we live in by how we present ourselves and by how we treat others' presentations of themselves to us.
Darrol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The self's presentation is analyzed in largely dramatic terms: stage, backstage, audience, including the various threats to and supports of the performance. This analysis raises some interesting questions in my mind about language theory, the status of the self (almost in a Buddhist sense of this issue) and the strength of will (almost in the Nietzchean sense of this issue).
snash on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting view, a type of formalization and definition, of the many components involved in ordinary social interactions, including those of teams (work places, homes, etc). Also included are all the numerous ways that these presentations can go wrong. Written in a scholarly manner, readable but dense.
sammyoz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Goffman takes an inductive approach to a form of symbolic interactionism. He examines the ways in which people present themselves and exhibit their activities to the world around them. He talks of impression management in which the individual is able to manage and manipulate their own impressions in order to extract a desired response from others. He analyses the individual and the self, viewing these as a product of social interaction. Goffman¿s theory of identity uses `dramaturgy¿ as a metaphor to suggest that we are all participants in some kind of great theatrical performance. We have roles, routines, and representations that we portray to our audience in the `front¿, `back¿, and `outside¿ regions of the stage; the stage being the arena in which social interaction takes place, and the audience refers to others with whom we communicate. According to Goffman, people in the presence of others typically `dramatize¿ their actions whilst highlighting and emphasizing those aspects of what they are doing, that they wish to convey the most. His `dramaturgical¿ analysis provides a theatrical analogy to the social interaction of people. Roseneil and Seymour¿s (1999) claim, that the range of identity options available to the individual is limited, is somewhat substantiated in Goffman¿s work as he refers to the self as being restricted to contextual circumstances with a flexibility that occurs during social interaction. However, Goffman¿s definition of the self proposes that it is a product of social construction. Therefore, it may be feasible to suggest that in Goffman¿s view, identity may be unlimited in the sense that it can be constructed in many different ways within the myriad of contextual social interaction.