Erving Goffman „The Presentation of Self In Everyday Life‟ (1959)(see pages 172-173 of „Making Social Lives‟ Chapter 4)
Dramaturgy What is Dramaturgy Dramaturgy is Impression Management According to this approach Social Interaction is akin to a stage – it involves „performances‟ Each individual performs to „scripts‟ Behaviour codes and expectations that have been learned through previous experiences & encounters For Goffman, performance is divided into two regions, Front-‟Stage‟ and Back-‟Stage‟:
Front Stage Front-Stage refers to the places where our performances are expected (and given) As actors we perform our roles (and characters) for each audience As performing individuals we conform to certain standards, codes and social expectations associated with…Matters of Politeness This relates to the ways in which performers communicate with their audience (whilst engaged in talk, involving gestural interactions)Decorum Refers to sets of behaviors involving the conduct of the performer within the visual or audio range of the audience
Back Stage Back-Stage is where „the hidden parts of our personality‟ can make an appearance Here the performer can relax; s/he can drop the staged / performance „front‟; break free from the „script‟, and step out of character This is a place where the performer is liberated from the audience expectations (and can reliably expect that no external/social audience will intrude) The back-stage is meant to be „hidden‟ from the audience (and so therefore remain free from judgment)Question: Think about and offer a few examples of your own Front & Back stage aspects of your identity/personality (performances):
Transition In between the Front and Back Region, there is a phenomenon called the “Zone of Transition” Goffman argues that this is one of the most interesting areas of impression management During these „in between‟ moments, we experience the confusion, discomfort and awkwardness of having to negotiate between the two regions…
What happens when an actor makes a mistake and reveals the „hidden aspects‟ of their Back-Stage performance?Read the following excerpt (taken from pages 264 & 265 of DD101 Chapter 6 – „Making Social Lives‟) Highlight examples of what you see to be: Front-Stage Back-Stage Zone of Transition
Questioning the notion of ‘private property’ • In September 1869, anarchist Mikhail Bakunin delivered his Report on the question of Inheritance in this, he addresses the problem of ‘private property’: • “We intend that both capital and land … should cease being transferable through the right of inheritance, [instead] becoming forever the collective property of all … Equality, and hence the emancipation of labour and of the workers, can be obtained only at this price.”
Private Property = Theft?• Marxists define private property as the right of an individual, or group of individuals, to exclude others from the use of an object.
• Russell Brand – The Guardian: Tuesday 9th April 2013 – notes that:• “When all the public amenities were flogged (during the 1980s), the adverts made it seem to my childish eyes fun and positive, jaunty slogans and affable British stereotypes jostling about in villages, selling people companies that theyd already paid for through tax. I just now watched the British Gas one again. Its like a whimsical live-action episode of Postman Pat where his cat is craftily carved up and sold back to him.”
DD101 – TMA03 (2013)So, to re-cap on the TMA Question:“Examine the argument that ‘Good fences make good neighbours’.” The Anarchist / Marxist approach raises some different issues … it questions the necessity of Private Property in the first place …
• ‘Fences’ are produced through private Property• Private Property is based upon (and perpetuates) ‘alienation’ = competition & exclusion / winners & losers• Greed, selfish-individualism and ‘ownership’ become the generic principles of society• Private Property operates against the virtues of community, sharing, co-operation …
• To what extent do you think that housing, neighbourhoods, neighbours, communities could be different (to what they have become)?