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Goffman’s Dramaturgical Sociology Essay

The article by Brown elaborates on traditional symbolic interactionism. Goffman was mainly interested in social self in the society that constitutes of individual personality formation. His notion of self involves engaging in purposive forms of activities and impressions. According to Goffman’s dramaturgy, there are various schools of interactionist analysis. People try to manipulate themselves and the situations in which they interact. Goffman’s interests were more to the ritualized forms of social interaction. There are various wings of interactionism; we have the social psychological, social of construction and social ritual wing.

The difference in these wings allows one to create bridges between elements of symbolic interactionism and other types of social theory (Brown, 290). The article states that in order to teach Goffman well, instructors should put emphasis on social rituals, symbols and sacred representations so as to produce emotional attachment that enhances solidarity in groups among students. Students will be encouraged to see the difference in strands of symbolic interactionism, conflict theory, classical and contemporary theory.

This will result to students’ capabilities being increased and they will maintain themselves creative synthesis. Students should know that the facts of symbolic interactionist are just fictions. However, they carry conspicuous effects of social life. In macro-sociology, Goffman observes given situation as a reality that is on an equal footing with human preference (Brown, 294). This is unlike other traditional interactionists. Additionally, Goffman uses the concept of frames to show the incomparability of situations in everyday life.

These frames include elements of symbolic meaning, social roles, norms and hierarchies of power that represents participants’ behaviors. Finally, Goffman puts into considerations disruptions, ambiguities, and reparations of social routine as part of everyday life. They are called breaking frames and they cause an embarrassment in life situations. Work cited Brown, David. Goffman’s Dramaturgical Sociology: Developing a Meaningful Theoretical Context and Exercise Involving ‘ Embarrassment and social organization’. American Sociological Association, 2003, pp. 288-299


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