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In what ways does Goffman's work help us understand social interaction and institutional life Discuss with reference to specifi - Essay Example

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In what ways does Goffman's work help us understand social interaction and institutional life Discuss with reference to specifi

Additionally, they will try to manipulate the definition of the situation by the way they act, which in the end will manipulate the attitudes of the people they are around with. According to Goffman view a person as an actor, in one way or another, a person will put a performance. By definition performance is “the activity of an individual which occurs during a period marked by his continuous presence before a particular set of observers and which has some influence on the observers” (Goffman, 1983, 22). The interaction order by Goffman involves investigation of face-to-face interaction especially amongst strangers. The supplementary tasks involved the application of theatrical and game metaphors to discover deception in the social world and as an assessment of the role of reflexivity in social investigation, especially as seen by the “framing” of social life. Moreover, Goffman made an important contribution to the related fields of sociology of mental illness and the sociology of stigma (Blumer, 1985, 305) Goffman’s main objective was to ascertain the study of face-to-face communication as a substantive apprehension in its own right. This flew in the face of both main theorists, for instance Parsons, who while respecting Goffman’s assessment, however wanted to absorb this and other fields into a larger theory and of politically thinking sociologist of all persuasions who evaluated Goffman’s assessment to be a trifling as those of his rational predecessor, George Simmel. The interaction order is a theoretical map to every occasion of face-to-face relations. The map is thus supposed to envelop behavior in, among other places “restaurants, elevators, stadiums and dinner parties”. Therefore, all face-to-face interactions need the “co-presence” of participants meaning that people must sense that others are close enough to them to be noticed at whatever they are doing. Further Goffman differentiated the three types of co-presence: “the gathering, the situation and the social occasion” (Charon, 1998, 23). According to Goffman, a gathering means coming together of two or more people and a situation occurs when there is a common monitoring while a social occasion is enclosed by space and time and is likely to engage props or special equipment. Therefore, a social occasion for instance a birthday party becomes the basis against gatherings and situations can occur. For each of these forms of co-presence there are differentiating patterns of communication traffic order, which Goffman defined as situational properties. Focused interactions take place when people “extend one another a special communication license, and maintain a special form of mutual activity” (Rawls, 1987, 136). This incorporates interactions between friends, acquaintances and under very special occasions the unacquainted. Unfocused interaction on the other hand takes place mainly in urban settings. Even though efforts are made to slow down, the current of information people read each other through “body idiom” and perceived “involvement” (Rawls, 1987, 137). Through body, idiom people judge each other according to social standards. Our body idiom thus is made up of impression that we either freely give or involuntarily give off. Involvement therefore is an internal state that others recognize through observable behavioral markers. The sociology of mental illness and stigma can be seen in Goffman’ ...Show more
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In what ways does Goffman's work help us understand social interaction and institutional life? Name: XXXXXXXXXX Professor: XXXXXXXX Institution: XXXXXXXX Course: XXXXXXXXXX Date: XXXXXXXXXXX In his work, Goffman help us in understanding the presentation of self in a description of social behavior in a social setting…
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