Goffman's concepts of impression management and their application to today's society - Essay Example

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Goffman's Concepts of Impression Management Impression management refers to goal-directed processes in which individuals try to influence other people’s perceptions about an event, object or person. The individuals achieve this by controlling and regulating information in the social setting…
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Download file to see previous pages Impression management involves defensive and protective techniques. The defensive techniques are employed prior to the interaction process. This involves dramaturgical loyalty where members become loyal to each other, dramaturgical discipline where members dedicate themselves to the performance and play their parts well. Finally, there is dramaturgical circumspection where members prepare for expected problems in order to reduce risks. The protective techniques are used to cover mistakes hence they are applied once the interaction starts (Brissett and Edgley 215). Performance can take place in three distinct regions namely outside, front-stage and back-stage. In impression management, the front stage refers to the region where the performance takes place. In this region, both the audience and the performers are present. According to Goffman (209), the front stage involved the differentiation between the personal front and the setting. In this case, setting refers to the scene that must be present for the actors to succeed in staging any performance. The personal front consists of the equipment and items required by the actor in order to perform. It is divided into manners, aspects and appearance, and they are the items identifiable by the audience as a representation of the actor and performance. The backstage refers to the region where only the performers are present. In this region, the performers can act outside their character without fearing that this could disrupt the performance. This is the region where informal acts and actions suppressed in the front stage appear. Examples include gossip, mimicking rude customers and interfering with team cohesion. Members use various methods to ensure no audience appears here, and if any of them comes in, performance will be difficult. Despite this, members maintain loyalty. Goffman (210) uses the term performance teams to refer to a group of persons who work together in staging a single routine. The teammates are interdependent, meaning that one of them can disrupt the show through inappropriate conduct. The members are required to share information and any mistake reflects on everyone. All members must possess inside knowledge hence they cannot be fooled by the performance of any one of them. The team performs for the audience at the front stage while interacting in the with each other in the backstage. From the above explanation, the front stage forms the medium that the performance teams can stage their performance for the audience hence they must maintain the appropriate conduct in this region. On the other hand, the backstage is the place where they can interact freely and informally with each other. It is also clear that impression management mainly takes place front stage because at this region, the performance team is very cautious of their actions. It is also true to say that in an organization, impression management is the duty of various performance teams and not the audience. The back stage and the front stage are bounded by barriers to perception. According to (Brissett and Edgley 215), barriers to perception refer to feelings, thoughts, stereotypes and emotions that interfere with how we perceive other people. Application of Goffman's concepts of impression management in today's society Identity management refers to the identification of individuals and in a system and controlling access to the system’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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