Final Reflection Paper
Presentation of Self
Erving Goffman’s “
Presentation of Self
“ forms a basic concept that we are who
we are because of social interactions, and this is based on ideas such as impression
management, front and back stage behavior, and performance according to a specific
As far as I’m concerned, presentation of self is apparent in every
Greek rush system on the planet.
When I think of the word “rush” I want to get on the next flight to Alaska. There
is nothing more pain staking than enduring four consecutive days of screaming, jumping,
sweating, catty-ness, blatantly fake personalities, forced conversations, and three hours of
sleep—if you’re lucky. Last September marked my third participating year in rush. As
you can imagine, I am very familiar with both brutal sides of the recruitment process
where I have become extremely aware of the masks people wear to fit into their social
surroundings. Yet I too, along with 900 other girls, put a mask on and performed to give
off a desired impression of myself during this unique social interaction. Presentation of
self is motivated by our personal goals, a favorable view of ourselves to others, and
conforming to norms, and the recruitment process could not be a better example of this.
Before the actual process even begins, you are preparing for it for nearly a year.
As soon as you are accepted into college rush has started, informally, yet formally
enough to get you cut from a sorority.
The first impression active members will have of
you, if you aren’t living under a rock, is your Facebook page.
Your looks, clothes,
activities, wall-posts, “tagged photos”, are scrutinized by 200 sorority girls, and these
have the possibility to come off in a negative light, therefore you must create an favorable
impression of yourself.
In order to manage this first impression, where not much
performance was involved, I had to make sure all of my photos, wall posts, and anything
on my profile was appropriate and created the desired impression I wanted because this
was the only means by which they could make an evaluation of who I was.
Once I arrived at Ole Miss I needed to determine how I was going to perform to
fit into the social situation of
“rush”. Obviously, like everybody else I wanted to be seen
as an intelligent, friendly, approachable girl with a good reputation.
I remember hearing
unofficial rules that rushees would need to abide by before going through recruitment