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Unformatted text preview: Introduction Introduction to Sociology Part II: Agency and Structure
Lecture 14: Impression Management
Monday, March 30 March 30 Erving Erving Goffman
- Canadian-American sociologist. Held academic Canadianposts at the University of Chicago, Berkeley, and the University of Pennsylvania - Developed theories of impression management, the th th dramaturgical perspective, framing - Influential works include: The Presentation of Self Influential works include: The Presentation of Self in in Everyday Life (1959), Asylums (1961), and (1959), Asylums (1961) Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity (1963) Identity (1963) (1922 – 1982) Impression Impression Management
- People enter into many social situations with uncertainty about others’ backgrounds, motivations, goals others’ - People attempt to gain this information by paying attention to clues in the words, actions, and mannerisms of others th - Everyone is aware that people are forming impressions of them - So, people manage their words, actions, and mannerisms to give the impression they want others to have - This creates an endless game between people Forms Forms of Impression Management
- Physical impression management
• Wearing makeup • Combing/styling hair • The use of props (e.g., clothes, wigs/hairpieces, jewelry) - Behavioral
• Mannerisms • Politeness, etiquette - Information control The The Dramaturgical Perspective
- Everyone is simultaneously actor and audience - Front stage: Social contexts in which people actively work to give certain impressions - Back stage: Contexts in which the audience is not present and where the performance is halted (e.g., private office, bathroom)
• Must be separate from front stage areas • Provide opportunities for people to drop their masks and engage in potentially “discrediting” acts with impunity • Provide opportunities to rearrange one’s appearance, conduct “readiness checks” (i.e., a staging area for strategic performances) Spoiled Spoiled Identity
- Occurs when a performance is “interrupted” by some kind of gaffe, mistake, or revelation that destroys the image one is trying to to project
• Audience sees backstage behavior • Disjuncture between impressions given versus given off given given - Creates the need for aligning actions (i.e., repair work) aligning (i.e.,
• Excuses, justification, de-emphasis, trivialization de• Usually a collaborative process - When aligning actions are unsuccessful, an identity may remain Wh li id tit spoiled, resulting in a permanent stigma stigma ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2010 for the course SOC 1101 taught by Professor Mclaughlin during the Spring '07 term at Cornell.
- Spring '07