Sociological Analysis Of Goffman's Stigma

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Through a micro-sociological analysis and focus on unconventional subject matter, Goffman explores the details of individual identity, group relations, the impact of the environment and the movement and interactive meaning of information, for example a person with a criminal record may simply withhold that information from fear of being judged by whomever that person happens to encounter. Goffman 's book Stigma (1963), notes on the controlling of spoiled identity examines how people protect their identities when they depart from approved standards of behaviour or appearance, people manage impressions of themselves mainly through concealment. He uses the presentation of self to explore how symbolic-interaction perspective applies to our daily…show more content…
As we present ourselves in various situations, we are much like actors putting on performances for their audience, for example we revise our behaviours to suit or situation in the sense that we act differently when surrounded by friends as opposed to in the presence of authoritative and respectable figures. The way in which Goffman explains how people present themselves in society is with the metaphor of a theatrical performance shaped by environment and audience, constructed to provide others with "impressions" that are consonant with the desired goals of the actor (Goffman 1959, 17). A dramaturgic constructs the story and then plays the part using structure, metaphors and symbolic gestures to portray the story and the character they represent to the audience. It is important to note that an actor is also an audience to the audience, the actor can gauge the audience 's reaction to his performance and adjust it…show more content…
Goffman goes on to distinguish between front stages and back stages. As 'performers ' in society we can choose our platform and our props to give the performance that we want. The backstage being the place where we choose our props, think how we want to be perceived by others and plan our performance accordingly. This suggests we are fully in control of the parts of society that we interact in, if we can control the social context then in turn we control how everyone else modifies their behaviour within society. Whereas the front stage is where we carry out our performance. We use these performances to give off impressions about ourselves and perhaps control what other people think of us. This rings true with the theory of dramaturgy, we represent ourselves in a chosen way by modifying everything to do with our performance, mostly premeditated but sometimes
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