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Social Worlds And The Sociological Imagination - Essay Example

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Society is analogous to a stage, when perceived from the nature of human interactions in the society, which is the premise on which Goffman has based his argument. The fact that society is analogous to a stage means that self is a component of the wider society which cannot…
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Social Worlds And The Sociological Imagination
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Social Worlds And The Sociological Imagination

Download file to see previous pages... ly different is an aspect that the society has to determine, thus making even the concept of individualism a matter of societal opinion (Scheff, 2006 p72). To defend this position, Goffman has applied the symbolic human interactions on small scale, such as the face to face interaction, where individuals form an identity based on the cultural values, expectations and norms (Roberts, 2006 p62).
In this respect therefore, the concept of self; applied to define the identity of an individual is not existent, where the social view is nonexistent, which then serves to indicate that there exists an inseparable link between individual and society, a link which cannot be severed, since there has to be a dual evaluative work undertaken by both the society and the individual (Biddle, 1986 p56). The identities and behaviors portrayed by individuals are based on the impressions that the individuals seek to make to the society about them. Such impressions are made through either positive reinforcement of the societal norms, values and expectations or through objections to the same, depending on whether an individual agrees or disagrees with what the society esteems. Nevertheless, in all the two cases; concurring with the society or disagreeing with it, an individual must communicate this impression to the society, an aspect that portrays self as something that is capable of being manipulated by the society, which means that self is not a fixed and determined object (Durkheim, 1984 p89). This being the case therefore, it can rightly be held that society is analogous to a stage that Goffman argues, since self cannot be delinked from the society.
According to dramaturgical sociology as advocated by Goffman, human interaction is defined by the elements of audience, time and place, and thus self emerges as the sense of who an individual is, but based on the place, the time and the audience the individual is exposed to (Goffman, 1959 p49). This aspect has metaphorically been ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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