Goffman's Dramaturgical Analysis Of Self

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To begin this literature review I will provide some details in regards to the social networking sites I have chosen for this research project. I will then discuss the literature I found most relative for my research, Goffman’s dramaturgical analysis of self. My aim is to show how Goffman’s work has help my research in regards to the understanding and formation of the self through the use of social networking sites. During my research I focused mainly on Facebook and Instagram and aimed to examine if individuals form their identity and sense of self based on the feedback they receive on their online profiles.
As I have previously mentioned Facebook was developed in 2004 originally for a small target demographic but gained global success in the …show more content…

Since its launch it has grown rapidly with 500 million profiles, and 300 million daily users as of January 2017. Instagram users showcase their lives through pictures on this site. These pictures range from beautiful scenic views, to perfectly displayed meals, to events and the all-important ‘selfie’. With both Instagram and Facebook users have the ability to showcase their daily lives, making these sites a virtual extension of themselves. Furthermore, users can ‘like’ and comment on other users posts, putting each user in a vulnerable position to be judged by their online profile. This is where I feel my research will be of significance as I believe these sites create a platform for the formation of one’s identity and their online to offline self by the feedback received on their posts and internalizing it to be a certain way. The importance of this research is due to the increasing amount of time individuals are spending online and the fact it is available 24/7 because of mobile phones and WiFi. The ability to constantly be updated about what everyone is interested in and being able to see who and how many people are liking and commenting on your posts, could be a constant influence on ones development of identity and …show more content…

Goffman views human interaction as a performance, where both individuals play the role of ‘actor’ and ‘audience’. Just as with an actor, when an individual interacts with others they are portraying a certain image which informs the other individuals (audience) about them (Goffman, 1959:40). The image the individuals chose to portray to others is a reflection of what they feel will be most well received by the other individual. Goffman discusses how the actors are able to choose their own stage, props and costumes for specific audiences (Goffman, 1959:39) just as we are able to choose which social network we use as a platform to express ourselves to our followers, the audience. The aspect of Goffman’s theory which I found most interesting and most relevant to my study was that of the ‘front stage’ and ‘back stage’. Goffman expressed the ‘front stage’ as the face-to-face personal interaction where actor interacts with audience. The ‘back stage’ is where there is no audience and each individual ceases their performance. This allows each individual to act as their true self and not as their social self (Goffman, 1959:129). Goffman’s proposal of the social self being an act to impress other individuals has become hugely important to how sociologists view social interactions. Now, more so then ever before due to the 24/7 access to social

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