The Multi Layered Concepts Of Identity Sociology
Identity is a multi layered construct associating to the groups we belong to ( societal individuality ) , the manner we portray ourselves to the outside universe ( personal individuality ) and to our ain subjective sense of knowing who are ( ego individuality ) ( Grace, 2006 ) . The society into which we are born nowadayss us with a whole series of different functions, which are forms of behaviors, modus operandis and responses. Therefore, we act in a scope of different functions, which are like parts in a drama. The cardinal writer for this theory is Erving Goffman and, in his work, the focal point is on an analysis of his first book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, in which he uses the theater as a metaphor for the world of ego. Goffman is interested in how individuality and the construct of ego are maintained and works in the interaction of society. The survey of interaction lies non in the person, but within the Acts of the Apostless between the person and others ( societal grouping ) . Goffman suggested that ‘how we present ourselves to others was like moving out a portion of a drama, where the books are already written ‘ . Our day-to-day lives are a uninterrupted series of societal interaction taking topographic point in different contexts. Harmonizing to Elena Bonta, societal interactions can be interpreted as a ritual ceremonial ( a micro rite ) in the typical everyday environment where persons, as portion of these interactions, observe certain regulations and a codification of behaviors imposed by societal and cultural norms of society. In the Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Goffman seeks to demo how everyone sets out to show themselves to the universe around them, ever seeking to keep the function they have selected for themselves. Those whom they meet would make up one’s mind what function it is the participants are playing and besides whether or non the participants are capable of playing that function – ‘Impression Management ‘ is a map of societal scene.
To get down with one will try to analyze a state of affairs that takes topographic point in a university environment on the first twenty-four hours of semester, to reenforce that coveted reading of ego that one may wish to convey. Among a thousand first twelvemonth pupils some will, doubtless, know each other beforehand but on the whole everyone will be on their ain and seeking to do some new friends. As a pupil is proudly walking to his first talk, they will be seeking to affect everyone. However if the pupil was to do a error in his self presentation now, it could take him hebdomads to retrieve his credibleness. The procedure of set uping his new societal individuality, becomes closely affiliated to the construct of the forepart, -which is described by Goffman as that portion of the persons public presentation which regularly maps in a general and fixed manner to specify the state of affairs for those who observe the public presentation ( Goffman, 1990, p32 ) . The forepart establishes an person, it allows others to understand us on the footing of projected character traits that have normative significances. As a corporate representation the forepart establishes a proper scene, visual aspect and mode for the societal function assumed by the histrion, unifying synergistic behavior with the personal forepart ( Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, 1959 ) . A pupil will frequently move otherwise when speaking to person in his talk, than he will with his friends in the saloon tardily at dark – the former supplying a sense of acquaintance, while the latter is a more public juncture. Goffman discusses the demand for belief in the portion you are playing, both in footings of the audience, and in the footings of the performing artist himself. For the public presentation to look realistic the performing artist himself shold believe the public presentation is echt ; the option is to hold no belief in his ain public presentation, to be what Goffman footings cynic – person who is intentionally seeking to misdirect the audience.
‘Perhaps the existent offense of the assurance adult male is non that he takes money from his victims but that he robs all of us of the belief that middle-class manners and visual aspect can be sustained merely by middle-class people. A undeceived professional can be cynically hostile to the service relation his clients expect him to widen to them ; the assurance adult male is in a place to keep the whole ‘legit ‘ universe in this disdain ‘ ( Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, 1959 ) .
If the pupil genuinely believes he is an easy traveling cat who does non worry about college work, he may look sufficiently credible to get the better of any of the contradictory grounds of the feeling he wishes to convey. When there is small or no occassion for a ‘dramatising ‘ of the public presentation, the pupil will ever look unconcerned when the topic of work is raised, to demo that work isnt a precedence in his life. Goffmans states this procedure is known as dramatic realization. This is where the public presentation is predicted upon the activities of feeling direction, the control ( or deficiency of control ) and communicating of information through the public presentation. To emphasis this, the pupil may go forth files or pages on the floor, or leave books half unfastened to demo that work is something he does when he finds clip in between his societal life or merely hanging out with friends. Even when he knows he has work due in the undermentioned twenty-four hours, he will still hold to travel out, howeve, R he will demo a false concern about traveling out alternatively of making his work, this is all in order to dramatize the act he is executing and as a consequence makes the act more believable.
Another state of affairs which most people can place with is in a kid ‘s early old ages. You can frequently see that kids play in character or functions different to their ain ego or they create fanciful friends. The kid may take on the function of person familiar to them, such as a parent, or possibly a function of the telecasting character. The child/ren will utilize props to enchance the world of their public presentation. If the kid is playing entirely, they may move out a figure of different characters at a clip – speaking to themselves. Mead argues that all of these actions and the responses from others are utilised by the kid which they so use to construct a ego ( Mead, 1934, par 19.11 ) . Like Goffman, Mead relates the responses or success of a ‘performance or function drama ‘ to constructing the ego and ego regard.
Widening Goffman ‘s dramaturgical analysis, he divides ‘region ‘ into ‘front ‘ , ‘back ‘ , and ‘outside the phase ‘ , depending on the relationship of the audience to the public presentation. Region is a ‘place that is bounded to some grade by barriers of perceptual experience ‘ ( Trevirio, 2003 ) . Front part refers to the topographic point where the public presentation is given. The public presentation of an person in a front part can be seen as an attempt to give the feeling that the activity maintains certain criterions – which are got to make with the manner they treat the audience while engaged to them ( niceness ) and with the manner the histrion carries themselves while in visual/aural scope ( Missuna ) . The public presentation therefore takes topographic point on the ‘front ‘ phase, where different props are used, which makes it possible to make a specific type of interaction, which in bend, creates a specific image of the ego. The ‘front ‘ phase is by and large fixed and defines the state of affairs. It consists of a scene – which is the physical scene, and the personal forepart – which is the points of expressive equipment that the audience expects of the public presentation. The personal forepart is so divided into appearence which is where the histrions societal position is revealed and the mode which is the function which the performing artist expects to play. The ego moves between the forepart and back phase. The front phase is public, the ego uses more props and works a batch harder on the right presentation of ego, whereas the wing is more private. In Goffmans position of ego, he states that the front part is non so much private, but more public ; it is a built in interaction. Again this is seen in the manner people present themselves in a peculiar manner, and in interaction, these characters of the ego are upheld and reinforced, for illustration, people are polite to protect their ain character and what others think ok their character of ego. The ‘back part ‘ is the country off screen, where the audience can non see. Iit is where the readyings for the first phase public presentations are made, the histrions prepare and rehearse their functions, they can really run into wing before and after their public presentation. The ‘back part ‘ is of import because it hides the tools of the public presentation, for illustration, costumes, props. If these were seen they would uncover the secrets of the public presentation. So, in other words wing is less societal and more private.
Most of Goffmans attending goes on the different procedures that are concerned with the creative activity of the ego in the interaction. This can include the usage of props to show one ‘s ego, the control of the audience, and feeling direction. The performing artists create a societal distance so the audience can non oppugn the histrion. This can be seen as a agency of ego control, that is, dramaturigal subject to manage or avoid any embarrassment. Harmonizing to goffman, the ego is in portion a ceremonial thing, a sacred object, which must be treated with proper ritual attention ( Riggins, 1990, p 58 ) . Outsiders, or off-stage, on the other manus, are excluded from the synergistic procedure between public presentation and performing artist, it is where persons are non involved in the public presentation. They are stray because of their inability to understand the public presentation of the squad, for illustration, a sociology pupil seeking to understand a talk in the section of natural philosophies. In this illustration, the sociology pupils would be out of the synergistic procedure non merely because of their deficiency of involvement and cognition in the country, but besides because of the inability of understanding the message being passed by the performing artist.
In decision, Goffman did non develop a therertical attack that would explicate parts of the universe. However, he did develop an analysis of the interaction order, societal state of affairss or ‘environments in which two or more persons are phyiscally in one anothers presence ‘ ( Lemert, 1997 p235 ) . These are the state of affairss where we spend most of our lives, in face to face activities affecting others, whether these be in mundane societal state of affairss, state of affairss within organized constructions ( occupations, School ) , or unusual societal state of affairss ( accidents, nuptialss or funerals ) ( Gingrich, 2000 ) . Goffman stood out by analyzing how people read between the lines and act in ordinary state of affairss. Basically, Goffmans analysis provides an account on how we interact with one another in twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours life and besides how we develop a system to assist show feelings that struggle with our front part. He provided guidelines in how to analyze societal state of affairss and interactions, and methods that help steer us in face to confront interacion. We are our agents in edifice and building our ‘self ‘ for the universe to see. We decide what others can and can non seen of our ‘self ‘ . Therefore, we can all be classed as histrions and independent agents in building our normal day-to-day lives. As a unfavorable judgment to Goffman ‘s theories, as they are based on face to confront interaction. If one takes the cyberspace for illustration, so we interact, converse and act with others without face to confront interaction. Here we can see that the line between forepart and back part can be blurred. This shows that the difference in this type of interaction does do a important difference to the public presentation. Goffman ‘s analysis seems to be uncomplete when using it to societal interaction over the cyberspace.
Elliot, A. ( 2001 ) . Self, Society & A ; Everyday Life ; Concepts of the Self. Polity Press.
Gingrich, P. ( 2000, April 11 ) . Sociology 319 – Contemporary Social Theory- Ervin Goffman. Retrieved November 12, 2010, from University of Regina-Department of Sociology and Social Studies: hypertext transfer protocol: //uregina.ca/~gingrich/f100.htm
Goffman, E. ( 1959 ) . The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. London: Polity Press.
Goffman, E. ( 1990 ) . the Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Penguin Books.
Grace, F. w. ( 2006 ) . Sociology of Identity. Griffith University.
Gray, P. ( 2002 ) . Psychology. Deserving Publishers.
Lemert, C. B. ( 1997 ) . Goffman Reader. Oxford: Blackwell publication.
Mead, G. ( 1934 ) . Mind, Self & A ; Society: from a point of view of societal behaviorist. Retrieved November 12, 2010, from George Herbert Mead: hypertext transfer protocol: //studymore.org.uk/xmead.htm # 19
Missuna, S. ( n.d. ) . the Presentation of Self in Everyday Life – Ervin Goffman. Retrieved November 16, 2010, from hypertext transfer protocol: //ishkbooks.com/presentation_of_self.pdf
Riggins, S. H. ( 1990 ) . Beyong Goffman: surveies of communicating, establishment, and societal interaction. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Trevirio, A. ( 2003 ) . Goffman ‘s Legacy. Maryland: Rowman & A ; Littfield.