Explain the Dramaturgical approach of Ervin Goffman

Erving Goffman’s Dramaturgical Approach, expounded in his influential work “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life” (1959), offers a metaphorical framework to comprehend social interactions as akin to performances on a theatrical stage.

Goffman draws an analogy between the dynamics of theater and everyday life, suggesting that individuals assume distinct roles and facades as they manage their conduct and appearances to shape specific impressions on others. This approach provides valuable insights into how people navigate diverse social contexts and the tactics they employ to convey desired self-images.

Goffman’s dramaturgical model consists of two primary components: the front stage and the back stage. The front stage signifies the public arena where individuals enact their roles in the presence of an audience. Here, they employ attire, gestures, language, and expressions to convey a particular identity, aiming to sustain a coherent and convincing presentation that aligns with societal norms and personal intentions.

In contrast, the back stage refers to the private sphere where individuals prepare for their front-stage performances. Within this realm, individuals can momentarily relinquish their public personas, unwind, and engage in more authentic behaviors. It serves as a space where roles can be momentarily shed, allowing glimpses of individuals’ genuine selves.

Central to Goffman’s Dramaturgical Approach is the concept of impression management – the conscious exertion to control the impressions one imparts to others. This may encompass collaboration within impression “teams,” where individuals cooperate to construct a collective portrayal of reality. The framework highlights the fluid nature of identity, the interplay between individuals and their social environments, and the potential for dissonance between the projected image and the true self.

To conclude, Goffman’s Dramaturgical Approach underscores the performative aspect of human interactions, underscoring how individuals adeptly shape their public personae while preserving a more authentic self behind the scenes. This perspective enriches our comprehension of the intricate facets of social interactions and the intricate strategies individuals employ to navigate the multifaceted stage of everyday life.

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