The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Volume 10

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Doubleday, 1959 - Psychology - 259 pages
13 Reviews
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In this classic book published in 1959, Goffman analyses interpersonal interaction and how individuals 'perform' in order to project a desirable image. When a person is conscious of being observed by an audience one will observe certain rules and social conventions, as failing to do so means losing face and failing to project the image/persona they wish to create. The person's behaviour will be different in a private environment, however, as no performance is necessary. This performance as ?self presentation?, considering that it provides us with a way to form new identities and thus convince ourselves we become an enhanced person. One of Goffman's key arguments is that individuals have both expressions that they give and those that they give off. In the case of the former, impressions that the individual intends to produce are communicated, but with the latter, impressions that were not intended to be given are received by the audience. People try to manage the impressions they give-off in order to ?fit in? to society. Goffman also considered more-established metaphors such as the mask as a means for deception in face-to-face interaction.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bokai - LibraryThing

The thesis of this little book came close to "No shit, Sherlock" territory for me. We perform our roles in life to convince the people around us that we are who we say we are. What makes the book ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jorgearanda - LibraryThing

A generally engaging and broad exploration of the ways in which we attempt to define the situations we live in by how we present ourselves and by how we treat others' presentations of themselves to us. Read full review



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About the author (1959)

ERVING GOFFMAN was born in Canada in 1922. He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1945 and then studied at the University of Chicago, receiving his M.A. in 1949 and his Ph.D. in 1953. For a year he lived on one of the smaller of the Shetland Isles while he gathered material for a dissertation on that community, and later he served as a visiting scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington. Mr. Goffman is the author of several articles and book reviews which have appeared in such periodicals as Psychiatry and the American Journal of Sociology. He is also the author of, among other works, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Asylums, Interaction Ritual, and Stigma