Erving Goffman Essay

1515 words - 7 pages

„Erving Goffman (June 11, 1922 – November 19, 1982) was a Canadian-born sociologist and writer.
The 73rd president of American Sociological Association, Goffman's greatest contribution to social theory is his study of symbolic interaction in the form of dramaturgical perspective that began with his 1959 book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.
In 2007 Goffman was listed as the 6th most-cited intellectual in the humanities and social sciences by The Times Higher Education Guide, behind Anthony Giddens and ahead of Jürgen Habermas.”
Goffman’s builds his theories in the book based on a starting ideea which attests that in the everyday socialization, every person has a repertory of ...view middle of the document...

Another possible situation is when during a discution, a person becomes „ out of face”, meaning that he is expressionless and doesn’t adapt to the expectations other have from him. When this situation appears, it is considered to be the first step an individual takes in a discussion on the road to being dissapointed of himself and losing control.
When encountering a situation in which a person is provided a face by another coparticipant, the indiviual enters the state of a guardian. For example, if someone attests a possitive atribute about another person, the one who was given the face must sustain it by any means, prooving that he is worth the given title and does not dissapoint the built expectations of other possible coparticipants at the discution.
In a group of persons, everybody expects from one another to have self respect and to preserve his positive image but in the same time to have respect for the other persons of the group he is attending. It is a given expectation in every group that the level of respect given between the persons to be very high, based on the emotional identification the members find between them, a vital condition which consists a solid base in group of persons. The effect of the two rules combined, the self respect and respect for the others, is that a person can manage to act in certain way for him to simultaneously sustain his status and face and to respect the other participants in a social action. Goffman attests that by fulfilling these two rules, it is more pleasant and easy for persons to accept one another and that the sustaining a face is a condition of interaction and not it’s purpose.

In this way, an individual can grow more compassion for the members of his group, leading even to the case of “saving another’s face”. The reason a person would do that is based on the emotional attachment he has for the person in cause and actually saving him from the hostility the other members would transmit to him if they would grow an amount of disappointment based on a social mistake he made.

Accordin to others ”Erving Goffman's work is the perfect product of one of the most original and rare ways to practice sociology: to look closely - and long - social reality.”

„Not then, men and their moments. Rather, moments and their men, writes Erving Goffman in the introduction to his groundbreaking 1967 Interaction Ritual, a study of face-to-face interaction in natural settings, that class of events which occurs during co-presence and by virtue of co-presence. The ultimate behavioral materials are the glances, gestures, positionings, and verbal statements that people continuously feed into situations, whether intended or not. This is an interesting account of daily social interaction viewed with a new perspective for the logic of our behavior in ordinary circumstances.

In a brilliant series of books about social behavior, including The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Asylums, and Stigma,...

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