Anthropology Of Performance

1778 Words8 Pages
Nazira Abibullakyzy
#ANT 306: Anthropology of Performance
Essay 1, Question choice №2
October 22, 2014
IS THERE SINGLE UNIVERSAL DEFINTION OF PERFORMANCE?
There have been many scholars defining the word “performance” relying on their field of study or interest. Performance as a subject of study has attracted massive attention due to its communicative nature, helpful in studying humans as social beings. Various explanations of the term performance have contributed to the emergence of performance as an interdisciplinary concept, which draws upon the theories from sociology, psychology, and anthropology. Thus, the term has a broad meaning, starting from speeches in daily life conversation continuing with the artistic performances in theatres and
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He uses the idea “performance” to denote all the activities of an individual in front of audience on a given occasion. As well, Goffman believes performance have to give meaning to the performer (actor), to the audience and to the situation. Through performance, individual delivers his own perceptions and impressions to the audience, thereby exchanging…show more content…
He distinguishes three types of people participating in the performance: performer, audience, outsiders. Outsiders are those people who have information that they should not have, for example: spies, shills, mediators, non-persons, service specialists, etc. The feature of reciprocity in conversation is common goal of all performances, but not present in every performance. In some instances, audience may not pay attention to the information given by the performer. Some rituals do not involve exchange of ideas or minds, but are still regarded as performances. For example, in the wedding rituals of Indians, men and wife circle around the table, but do not talk. Audience understand that their walking implies that their giving promise in front of the fire-god. So, this feature of Goffman’s definition is not common to all

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