The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
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.