week 3


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week 3

  1. 1. “ 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
  2. 2. “ Play and Contest as Civilizing Functions” from Homo Ludens <ul><li>Biography: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>December 7, 1872 - February 1, 1945 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Born in Groningen, in the Netherlands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dutch Historian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One of the founders of modern cultural history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Was a professor of General History at Leiden University until 1942 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then was held in detention by the Nazis until his death </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. “ Play and Contest as Civilizing Functions” from Homo Ludens <ul><li>Influences: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Huizinga was greatly interested in seeing the aesthetic views to history, where art is very important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This lead to his interest in European culture and how play was a big part of that culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Influencing his book Homo Ludens </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. “ Play and Contest as Civilizing Functions” from Homo Ludens <ul><li>Culture arises from play </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ie, Cat’s Cradle </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Youtube: Cat's Cradle </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>There is contest in play </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ie, Olympics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Play and contest are the root of Chinese civilization, of potlatch, and other ceremonies of contest </li></ul><ul><li>Virtue and honour arise from play </li></ul>
  5. 5. “ Play and Contest as Civilizing Functions” LATERAL RESEARCH: <ul><li>What else was happening? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Johan Huizinga: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ ...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.&quot; (Foreword, unnumbered page). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. “ Play and Contest as Civilizing Functions” LATERAL RESEARCH: <ul><li>What happened between 1938 and 1999? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>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: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Agon </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alea </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mimesis </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ilinx </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Play and games combine these elements in various ways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contemporary play theorists of interest: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jesper Juul, Katie Salen, Eric Zimmerman </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Case Study #1: The Idea of “Play” as Performance <ul><li>“ Culture arises in the form of play, that it is played from the very beginning” (p. 97). </li></ul><ul><li>Huizinga’s idea is that play and culture go hand-in-hand, and play and winning go together as well </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>A great example of a game resulting in a superior person in the end is the Olympic Games </li></ul><ul><li>“ The primary thing is the desire to excel others, to be the first and to be honoured for that” (p. 99). </li></ul>
  8. 8. Case Study #1: Playing “for” Something <ul><li>The notion that we play “for” something </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ 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). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The glory of being the best of the best - and especially being recognized for it </li></ul><ul><li>A material prize for the Olympics would be a medal of either bronze, silver, or gold </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Phelps 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Phelps 2008 </li></ul>
  9. 9. Selections from “Performances.” The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life <ul><li>Biography: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Born June 11, 1922 in Canada </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Died November 19, 1982 in Philadelphia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sociologist who analyzed human interaction through observation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Different forms of “talk” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Routine social actions show that humans strive to formulate activities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Every facet of human behaviour is “significant in the strategy and tactics of social struggle” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He referred to the individual’s attempt to present themselves to others in a particular way as “impression management” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Selections from “Performances.” The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life <ul><li>Books: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Burns, Tom, Erving Goffman, Routledge (New York City), 1992. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ditton, Jason, ed., The View from Goffman, St. Martin's Press (New York City), 1980. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manning, Phiip, Erving Goffman and Modern Sociology, Polity Press (Cambridge, England), 1992. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Riggins, Stephen Harold, Beyond Goffman: Studies on Communication, Institution, and Social Interaction, Mouton de Gruyter (New York City), 1990. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drew, Paul and Anthony Wootton, eds., Erving Goffman: Exploring the Interaction Order, Northeastern University Press, 1988. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sources: </li></ul><ul><li>http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/goffmanbio.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://socsci.colorado.edu/SOC/SI/si-goffman-bio.htm -Major Theorists of Symbolic Interactionism </li></ul>
  11. 11. Selections from “Performances.” The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life <ul><li>“ 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.” </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>Performance: </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Selections from “Performances.” The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life <ul><li>Parts to an individual’s performance: </li></ul><ul><li>Front </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regularly functions in a general and fixed fashion to define the situation from those who observe the performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expression of the performance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Personal Front </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help audience identify with performer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intimate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics which we follow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appearance: tell us of the performers social status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manner: stimuli that warn us of the interaction role the performer will play </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These provide us with the ‘ideal’ type and associate their character to their performance </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Selections from “Performances.” The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life <ul><li>Social Front </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stereotypes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help shape our interpretations and actions of characters being portrayed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fronts are selected, not created, meaning those who perform select a suitable front from those we already know </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We relate to each disguise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stereotypes are not individually created - rather, they exemplify the values and standards set by society </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Selections from “Performances.” LATERAL RESEARCH: <ul><li>Robert Cohen’s Merry Go Round </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Role Distance: On Stage and On the Merry-Go-Round – Fall 2004. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One of the most contemporary authors to expand on Goffman’s work by looking at and analyzing the article that Goffman wrote in 1961… </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Selections from “Performances.” LATERAL RESEARCH: <ul><li>1961 – Essay: Role Distance: </li></ul><ul><li>Role Distance: “actions which effectively convey some disdainful detachment of the [real life] performer from a role he is performing” (Goffman, 110). </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Both Cohen and Goffman continued looking at the phenomenon of performance in the everyday life. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Case Study #2: House in terms of Performance <ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>House’s “holier-than-thou” attitude is his FRONT </li></ul><ul><li>“ Performance is molded and modified to fit into the understanding and expectations of the society in which it is presented” (p 120 courseware). </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ie, the professionalism of the other doctors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>He breaks doctoral stereotypes because he isn’t a warm, friendly doctor - instead, he is cold and bitter </li></ul>