It is a look into the world of people considered abnormal by society. Stigmatized people are those that do not have full social acceptance and are constantly striving to adjust their social identities: physically deformed people, mental patients, drug addicts, prostitutes, etc. He looks at the variety of strategies that stigmatized individuals use to deal with the rejection of others and the complex images of themselves that they project to others. Three Types of Stigma In the first chapter of the book, Goffman identifies three types of stigma: stigma of character traits, physical stigma, and stigma of group identity. These stigmas are transmitted through lineages and contaminate all members of a family.

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Lloyd Warner. Hughes was the "most influential of his teachers", according to Tom Burns. Goffman does break from his connection with George Herbert Mead and Herbert Blumer in that while he does not reject the way in which individuals perceive themselves, he was more interested in the actual physical proximity or the "interaction order" that molds the self Individuals present images of themselves based on how society thinks they should act in a particular situation.

This decision on how to act is decided based on the concept of definition of the situation. The definition are all predetermined and individuals choose how they will act by choosing the proper behavior for the social situation they are in. Goffman draws from William Thomas for this concept as well. Thomas believed that people are born into a particular social class and so the definitions of the situations that they will encounter have been previously defined for them At the same time, the person that the individual is interacting with attempts to form an impression of, and obtain information about, the individual.

Society is not homogeneous; we must act differently in different settings. This recognition led Goffman to his dramaturgical analysis. He saw a connection between the kinds of "acts" that people put on in their daily lives and theatrical performances. In a social interaction, as in a theatrical performance, there is an onstage area where actors individuals appear before the audience; this is where positive self-concepts and desired impressions are offered.

But there is, as well, a backstage — a hidden, private area where individuals can be themselves and drop their societal roles and identities.

He draws distinctions between several types of public gatherings "gatherings", "situations", "social occasions" and types of audiences acquainted versus unacquainted. Thus, a person with a criminal record may simply withhold that information from fear of being judged by whomever that person happens to encounter. The first four were originally published in the s, the fifth in , and the last was written for the collection.

Goffman believes that face "as a sociological construct of interaction, is neither inherent in nor a permanent aspect of the person". Inconsistency in how a person projects him or herself in society risks embarrassment and discrediting. Therefore, people remain guarded, to ensure that they do not show themselves to others in an unfavorable light.

It discusses the compatibility of game theory with the legacy of the Chicago School of sociology and with the perspective of symbolic interactionism. It is one of his few works that clearly engage with that perspective. Goffman presents reality as a form of game, and discusses its rules and the various moves that players can make the "unwitting", the "naive", the "covering", the "uncovering", and the "counter-uncovering" while trying to get or hide an information.

A frame is a set of concepts and theoretical perspectives that organize experiences and guide the actions of individuals, groups and societies. Frame analysis , then, is the study of the organization of social experience. To illustrate the concept of the frame, Goffman gives the example of a picture frame : a person uses the frame which represents structure to hold together his picture which represents the content of what he is experiencing in his life.

One type of primary framework is a natural framework, which identifies situations in the natural world and is completely biophysical , with no human influences. The other type of framework is a social framework, which explains events and connects them to humans.

An example of a natural framework is the weather, and an example of a social framework is a meteorologist who predicts the weather. Focusing on the social frameworks, Goffman seeks to "construct a general statement regarding the structure, or form, of experiences individuals have at any moment of their social life". In the chapter "The Frame Analyses of Talk," the focus is put on how words are exchanged and what is being said, specifically in informal talk or conversation.

The concept of framing is introduced through an exploration of why misunderstandings occur in these basic, everyday conversations. He argues that they are more errors in verbal framing than anything else. The types of frames Goffman is considering are discussed in previous sections of the book, "fabrications, keyings, frame breaks, misframing, and, of course, frame disputes.

And what his listeners are primarily obliged to do is to show some kind of audience appreciation. This is why often a simple head nod or grunt is accepted as an appropriate response in conversation. Goffman explains that the way a conversation is keyed is critical to understanding the intent behind many utterances in everyday speech.

Key is probably best understood as the tone of the dialogue which can change numerous times during an interaction. Bauman details that a performance is dependent on it being properly keyed, without this, the display will not be successful.

His work on performance analyses is deeply indebted to what Goffman establishes here in "Frame Analyses. An awareness of these social framings is critical, just as is an awareness of the audience. Goffman uses the metaphor of conversation being a stage play.

The parallels go further, though. Goffman also claims that a speaker details a drama more often than they provide information. Other similarities include engaging in the suspense the speaker is attempting to create. In both scenarios, you must put aside the knowledge that the performers know the outcome of the event being relayed and, in a sense, play along.

All of these things work in concert to provide a foundation of how talk is framed. Gender Advertisements[ edit ] In Gender Advertisements , he writes about how gender is represented in the advertising we all engage with in our everyday lives. He explains relative size, feminine touch, function ranking, the family, the ritualization of subordination, and licensed withdraw. Relative size means that the women represented in advertisements are generally shown shorter or smaller in comparison to men.

Feminine touch is when a woman touches a man or an object in a way that is very loose, and not gripping the object tightly. Function ranking represents a hierarchy in the images, by way that the man is shown in front and largest in front of women and children. The family is typically depicted in a way that gives the father and a son a close relationship, and the mother and a daughter a close relationship. The ritualization of subordination is when women are shown in a lower ranking or worth of an image, and they are smaller, underneath, and overall of lesser importance to men.

Finally, licensed withdrawal is when a women is shown as not interested in the camera, or looking off into the distance with head and body cant. Goffman analyzes all of these topics in a very in-depth and easy to understand format.

With relative size, women are generally shown smaller or lower than men in terms of girth and height. Feminine Touch: Women are frequently depicted touching persons or objects in a ritualistic manner, occasionally just barely touching the object or person.

Goffman argues that "females in advertising are frequently posing while "using their fingers and hands to trace the outlines of an object, or to cradle it or to caress its surface". This ritualistic touching is to be distinguished from the utilitarian kind that grasps, manipulates, or holds". Fashion designers are now starting to blur the lines between masculinity and femininity.

In the first advertisement, the male has a very soft delicate hold on the rose compared to the typical aggressive grip men exhibit in ads. In the other two examples, both men are not only portraying the idea of feminine touch but the concept of self-touch as well. Goffman exemplifies this advertising phenomena as illustrated in the workplace, at home, in public, and with children.

The idea is that women are portrayed as the lesser role in the scene, and that the men are in charge. This role is only portrayed in collaborative environments. Overall, many advertisements showed only females or males rather than the two genders together or a family scene. This might mean that advertisements are frequently targeting more specific audiences.

The father tends to maintain distance between him and his family members. This act shows protectiveness according to Goffman. The father is the security for the family who is the protector and provider.

Ritualization of Subordination: Ritualization of Subordination serves to Demonstrate power and superiority, or lack of, through body positioning techniques such as head cant, body cant, feminine touch, licensed withdrawal, bashful knee bend, lying down, and more.

Power and superiority is typically associated with masculinity while vulnerability and objectification is usually associated with femininity.

This often shows the person being removed from the scene itself or lost in thought. This subject can be female in most cases, but male in some as well. Scott Morris and Katherine Warren further explain this term by saying, "When women are not presented as withdrawn, they are presented as over engaged, to the point of losing control: laughing uncontrollably or overcome with extreme emotion. It commonly appears in: t. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the study of talk. Specifically, Goffman discusses " self-talk " talking to no one in particular and its role in social situations.

Next, in "Footing", Goffman addresses the way that footing, or alignment, can shift during a conversation. Lastly, in "Radio Talk", Goffman describes the types and forms of talk used in radio programming and the effect they have on listeners.


Erving Goffman



Stigmate (Erving Goffman)


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