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Lecture 3 - 1 The Dramaturgical Approach concerned between...

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2 The Dramaturgical Approach ! Think of social life as a theatrical production, with costumes, scripts, audiences, and roles ! Social scripts define how we are to act; also, who is an accepted part of “the cast” and who is not ! Scripts give us the general outline of what to say and do, but not the details
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Scripts, roles, and identities 3 ! The dramaturgical approach is concerned with the relationship between roles, scripts, and identities ! Obviously, this is a metaphor; we are not actually in a play " In fact, all theorizing is metaphorical Dramaturgical Approach Role Student Signi5icant other Social Scripts fu5illment: Smooth interaction Breach: Embarasment Identity Created by roles
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4 Why we need scripts ! Most of us have some idea how to act – e.g., how to communicate a romantic or sexual interest in someone ! However, we don ± t always do this well, so we need a rough “script” " Scripts provide guidelines for what to do and say " Breach of these expectations can lead to interrupted interaction " Scripts are found in etiquette books, magazines, and personal conversation
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5 The link between roles and identities ! According to dramaturgical approach, the social roles we play are the source of our identities ! We become the scripts we play! " So, roles and identities are interrelated ! But exactly how do roles become identities?
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6 One approach: Labeling theory ! We gain an understanding of who we are by seeing how other people view or treat us ! Labeling theory has foundations in the work of Charles Horton Cooley (1902) " The “looking-glass self” illustrates how we form our identities " The way others treat you influences how you view and treat yourself ! E.g., parents who show they have confidence in you give you confidence
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Labeling is a two-sided sword 7 ! The process of labeling has known effects that include both incapacitation and empowerment ! We all want to receive positive labels and avoid negative labels, but that doesn’t always happen Sterotype/label Negative con5irms sterotype (SelfCful5illing prophecy) depression & anxiety social incapacitation anger Positive Able to do it (Rosenthal's Pygmalion Effect )
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Negative labeling can lead to secondary deviance ! Secondary deviance may include a career in rule-breaking ! Whatever the reasons for our initial deviance, labeling can lead to repeated (i.e., secondary) deviance 8
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9 How we position ourselves in roles: embracement versus distance ! Usually, roles and identities are so closely connected that they almost overlap ! Role embracement : a person willingly accepts both the social role and the identity associated with it " E.g., a person in the role of teacher agrees to behave and think ± like a teacher ² ! But sometimes a person takes on the role but signals separation from the values associated with that role " E.g., a child distances himself from parents in front of friends
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10 Roles become identities through internalization Identities are based on the social roles we play !
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