Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

Presentation of Self in Everyday Life




Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

            The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life is a 1959 book written by Erving Goffman. In the book, the author employs the use of imagery in order to create a model of the existent social life of an individual in his interaction and associative actions. According to Goffman, human interaction can be viewed as a theatre. People represent the acting characters while life stands as the performing stage. The crowd of spectators acts as secondary persons who observe and respond to the act. Similar to theatrical performances, there are divergent audience seating where some occupy the front rows while others occupy the back rows. This is symbolic for the degree of importance or role played by the audience in the performance.

Central to the play is performance. The concept refers to all the observable actions done by an individual. These acts are used in the creation of impression about the actor to the crowd. Equally significant is the role played by the setting, appearance, and manner in social interaction. Interdependent in nature, appearance, setting and manner dictate how smooth an individual interacts in the society. Good appearances, setting and manners elevate social acceptance as seen in the high-level attraction of the audience.

The book is important in its narration on how an individual similar to a theatrical play needs to employ performance techniques in order to develop greater audience satisfaction levels. In detail, a person needs to be socially upright through good appearances and behaviors in order to ascertain social acceptance. Though accurate in its symbolic representation, one can argue that life and the society are dynamic. In detail, they are not controlled or scripted as in theatre.


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