Class Notes, Week 6, Social InteractionDefinition of the situation: the meanings we attach to our immediate circumstances. Our behavior does not depend on the objective existence of something, but rather our subjective interpretation, our “definition of reality.”Dramaturgy(developed by Erving Goffman), also called presentation of self, also called impression management: In this perspective, we are all social actors with roles, costumes, scripts, props, an audience, and a stage. Our interactions are all performancesand socialization teaches us how to perform based on the stage, and how to do it convincingly.We can use our understanding of definition of the situation and looking-glass self to influence our role, costumes, script, stage, props, and acting. (i.e. getting ready for a romantic evening at your apartment). Just as an actor is trying to create a character that they feel the audience will interpret correctly, our actions represent sometimes unconscious/conscious attempts to do the same.
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Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Social Interaction Definition