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    week 3 week 3 Presentation Transcript

    • “ Play and Contest as Civilizing Function” from Homo Ludens by Johan Huizinga & Selections from “Performances.” The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Erving Goffman
    • “ Play and Contest as Civilizing Functions” from Homo Ludens
      • Biography:
        • December 7, 1872 - February 1, 1945
        • Born in Groningen, in the Netherlands
        • Dutch Historian
        • One of the founders of modern cultural history
        • Was a professor of General History at Leiden University until 1942
        • Then was held in detention by the Nazis until his death
    • “ Play and Contest as Civilizing Functions” from Homo Ludens
      • Influences:
        • Huizinga was greatly interested in seeing the aesthetic views to history, where art is very important
        • This lead to his interest in European culture and how play was a big part of that culture
            • Influencing his book Homo Ludens
    • “ Play and Contest as Civilizing Functions” from Homo Ludens
      • Culture arises from play
          • Ie, Cat’s Cradle
          • Youtube: Cat's Cradle
      • There is contest in play
          • Ie, Olympics
      • Play and contest are the root of Chinese civilization, of potlatch, and other ceremonies of contest
      • Virtue and honour arise from play
    • “ Play and Contest as Civilizing Functions” LATERAL RESEARCH:
      • What else was happening?
        • Johan Huizinga:
          • “ ...it was not my object to define the place of play among all other manifestations of culture, but rather to ascertain how far culture itself bears the character of play." (Foreword, unnumbered page).
        • This gave rise to the term ludology – the study of play and games. The term only caught on in 1999 after it was featured in an article by Gonzalo Frasca.
    • “ Play and Contest as Civilizing Functions” LATERAL RESEARCH:
      • What happened between 1938 and 1999?
        • Man, Play and Games – a very influential 1961 book by Roger Caillois on ludology. Caillois builds on Huizinga’s theories by identifying the four basic types of play:
            • Agon
            • Alea
            • Mimesis
            • Ilinx
        • Play and games combine these elements in various ways
        • Contemporary play theorists of interest:
            • Jesper Juul, Katie Salen, Eric Zimmerman
    • Case Study #1: The Idea of “Play” as Performance
      • “ Culture arises in the form of play, that it is played from the very beginning” (p. 97).
      • Huizinga’s idea is that play and culture go hand-in-hand, and play and winning go together as well
      • This idea of winning also proposes the idea of losing…making the object of the game or contest to be better than the rest of the competitors - showing oneself superior in the end
      • A great example of a game resulting in a superior person in the end is the Olympic Games
      • “ The primary thing is the desire to excel others, to be the first and to be honoured for that” (p. 99).
    • Case Study #1: Playing “for” Something
      • The notion that we play “for” something
          • “ The fruits of victory may be honour, esteem, prestige … every game has its stake. It can be of material or symbolic value, but also ideal” (p. 99).
      • The glory of being the best of the best - and especially being recognized for it
      • A material prize for the Olympics would be a medal of either bronze, silver, or gold
      • Michael Phelps 2004
      • Michael Phelps 2008
    • Selections from “Performances.” The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
      • Biography:
        • Born June 11, 1922 in Canada
        • Died November 19, 1982 in Philadelphia
        • Sociologist who analyzed human interaction through observation
          • Different forms of “talk”
          • Routine social actions show that humans strive to formulate activities
          • Every facet of human behaviour is “significant in the strategy and tactics of social struggle”
          • He referred to the individual’s attempt to present themselves to others in a particular way as “impression management”
    • Selections from “Performances.” The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
      • Books:
        • Burns, Tom, Erving Goffman, Routledge (New York City), 1992.
        • Ditton, Jason, ed., The View from Goffman, St. Martin's Press (New York City), 1980.
        • Manning, Phiip, Erving Goffman and Modern Sociology, Polity Press (Cambridge, England), 1992.
        • Riggins, Stephen Harold, Beyond Goffman: Studies on Communication, Institution, and Social Interaction, Mouton de Gruyter (New York City), 1990.
        • Drew, Paul and Anthony Wootton, eds., Erving Goffman: Exploring the Interaction Order, Northeastern University Press, 1988.
      • Sources:
      • http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/goffmanbio.html
      • http://socsci.colorado.edu/SOC/SI/si-goffman-bio.htm -Major Theorists of Symbolic Interactionism
    • Selections from “Performances.” The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
      • “ Everyone is always and everywhere, more or less, consciously playing a role … it is in these roles that we know each other; it is in these roles that we know ourselves.”
      • The author suggests that everyone is performing (or has performed) in front of others to appear “better” and impress society by reaching certain standards - which causes misinterpretation
      • Performance:
      • refers to all activity of an individual which occurs during a period marked by his continuous presence before a particular set of observers and has some influence over the observers
    • Selections from “Performances.” The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
      • Parts to an individual’s performance:
      • Front
        • Regularly functions in a general and fixed fashion to define the situation from those who observe the performance
        • Expression of the performance
      • Personal Front
        • Help audience identify with performer
        • Intimate
        • Characteristics which we follow
        • Appearance: tell us of the performers social status
        • Manner: stimuli that warn us of the interaction role the performer will play
        • These provide us with the ‘ideal’ type and associate their character to their performance
    • Selections from “Performances.” The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
      • Social Front
        • Stereotypes
        • Help shape our interpretations and actions of characters being portrayed
        • Fronts are selected, not created, meaning those who perform select a suitable front from those we already know
        • We relate to each disguise
        • Stereotypes are not individually created - rather, they exemplify the values and standards set by society
    • Selections from “Performances.” LATERAL RESEARCH:
      • Robert Cohen’s Merry Go Round
        • Role Distance: On Stage and On the Merry-Go-Round – Fall 2004.
        • One of the most contemporary authors to expand on Goffman’s work by looking at and analyzing the article that Goffman wrote in 1961…
    • Selections from “Performances.” LATERAL RESEARCH:
      • 1961 – Essay: Role Distance:
      • Role Distance: “actions which effectively convey some disdainful detachment of the [real life] performer from a role he is performing” (Goffman, 110).
      • Goffman develops his idea after observing children of various ages riding a merry-go-round and defines a relationship between real-life role experiencing and role estranging that has important implications for acting.
      • Both Cohen and Goffman continued looking at the phenomenon of performance in the everyday life.
    • Case Study #2: House in terms of Performance
      • House M.D. is cynical because he is so wrapped up in himself, that helping patients is not his main objective - his main objective is to diagnose people with his apt knowledge of medicine
      • House’s “holier-than-thou” attitude is his FRONT
      • “ Performance is molded and modified to fit into the understanding and expectations of the society in which it is presented” (p 120 courseware).
          • Ie, the professionalism of the other doctors
      • He breaks doctoral stereotypes because he isn’t a warm, friendly doctor - instead, he is cold and bitter