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Home » , » Short Analysis "The presentation of self in everyday of life"


Erving Goffman, a sociologist, wrote the book "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life," which was published in the United States in 1959. Goffman uses theater imagery in it to show how important and subtle face-to-face social interaction is. The dramaturgical model of social life is a theory of social interaction proposed by Goffman.

Goffman says that people in everyday life are like actors on a stage, each playing a different role, and social interaction is like a theater. Other people who watch the role-playing and react to the performances make up the audience. Similar to theatrical performances, there is a "front stage" area in social interaction where actors are on stage in front of an audience and are influenced by their awareness of the audience's expectations for the role they should play. In addition, there is a back area, or "backstage," where individuals can unwind, be themselves, and reflect on the identity or role they play in front of others.

The idea that people constantly engage in the process of "impression management" as they interact in social settings is central to the book and Goffman's theory. In this process, each person tries to present themselves and behave in a way that will not embarrass themselves or others. This is mostly done by working together to make sure that everyone in the interaction has the same "definition of the situation," which means that everyone knows what's going to happen, what to expect from the others, and how they should behave.

Even though it was written over 50 years ago, "The Presentation of Self in Everday Life" is still one of the most well-known and widely taught sociology books. In 1998, the International Sociological Association named it the 10th most important sociology book of the 20th century.


Goffman defines "performance" as an individual's entire activity in front of a particular group of observers, or audience. The individual, or actor, gives meaning to themselves, others, and their circumstance through this performance. These performances convey impressions to other people, which conveys information that substantiates the actor's identity in that circumstance. The entertainer could possibly know about their presentation or have a goal for their exhibition, in any case, the crowd is continually ascribing significance to it and to the entertainer.


The scene, the props, and the location where the interaction takes place to make up the performance's setting. The actor will need to adapt his performance for each set because different settings will attract different audiences.


The performer's appearance conveys their social status to the audience. In addition, an individual's appearance reveals his or her temporary social status or role, such as whether he is participating in work (through the wearing of a uniform), informal recreation, or formal social activity. Dress and props are used to convey gender, status, occupation, age, personal commitments, and other socially ascribed meanings in this context.


Manner refers to the individual's performance in the role and serves as a warning to the audience about how the performer intends to act or behave in the role (e.g., dominant, aggressive, receptive, etc.). An audience will be confused and irritated if there is inconsistency or contradiction between appearance and manner. This can occur, for instance, when one doesn't introduce himself or act as per his apparent economic well-being or position.


According to Goffman, the part of an actor's performance that serves to set the scene for the audience is referred to as the actor's front. It refers to the impression that he or she projects on the audience. A social front can be compared to a script as well. Certain social contents will generally become organized as far as the generalized assumptions it contains. There are social scripts that outline how an actor should act or interact in particular situations or scenarios. If the person takes on a new job or role, he or she might find that there are already several well-established fronts from which to choose. Goffman asserts that when a task is given a new front or script, the script rarely itself is entirely new. Even if it is not entirely appropriate or desired for that circumstance, people frequently adhere to pre-established scripts in new situations.

According to Goffman, there are three regions in stage drama, just like in everyday interactions, with varying effects on an individual's performance: Front Stage, Back Stage, and Off Stage off-stage, behind the scenes, and on stage. The actor officially performs on the front stage, adhering to conventions that have particular significance for the audience. The actor behaves accordingly when they are aware that they are being watched. The actor may act differently on the front stage than they do in front of the audience when they are in the backstage area. This is the place where the person can truly be herself and let go of the roles she plays in front of other people.

Lastly, individual actors meet audience members in the off-stage area independently of the team performance on the front stage. When the audience is divided up in this way, specific performances may be given.

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life



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