GOFFMAN’S DRAMATURGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON INTERACTION

Dramaturgy
Goffman’s approach to social interaction, which analyzes social life in terms of drama or stage,
where interactions are seen as performances of roles.
Role Performance
the ways in which someone performs a role within the limits that the role provides, while
emphasizing different aspects based on their personality or style.
Sign Vehicles
the term used by Goffman to refer to how people use social setting (place where interaction
takes place), appearance (how an individual looks when playing a role – costuming and props), and manner (the attitude shown while playing a role, communicated through lines and language) to communicate information about the self
Unfocused Interaction
interactions between individuals who are present in the same setting, but not engaged
in face-to-face communication.
Civil Inattention
how people (strangers) create the impression that they are unaware of exactly what is going
on so that others can maintain the sense that their actions or conversations are private and their space is being
respected (i.e., the other person isn’t paying too much attention to them).
Focused Interaction
intentional interaction characterized by closeness and cooperation in which the people
involved are engaged in a common activity or direct conversation
Openings
indications that a focused interaction will begin
Front Stage
where performances are given
Back Stage
where people rest from their performances (interactions), discuss their presentations, and plan
future performances
Audience Segregation
enables us to compartmentalize our roles
Face
a mask that changes depending on the audience and the variety of social interaction. People are emotionally attached to their faces, so they feel good when they are maintained and emotional pain when they are lost
Saving Face
how people strive to maintain the face they have created in social situations when their identity claims
are challenged or ignored (e.g., when a performance is going badly)
Giving Face
how people in social interaction cooperate to maintain each other’s faces, using politeness strategies
(tact) such as studied nonobservance, apologies, excuses, and justifications.
Teamwork
the collaboration of two or more people who jointly manage impressions in the interest of a
successful performance. Teams need to have a working consensus which is an agreement on the roles and expectations of team members in order to help each other play these roles
Surface Acting
basic presentation of the self in the front stage, especially important in terms of managing
appropriate emotional responses
Deep Acting
changing the definition of the situation in order to make your emotions appropriate to the
situation, which is done back stage in order to present a good performance front stage