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Roles - Research Paper Example

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All of them perform certain roles in order to fit their social circle. Goffman defines this process by the term impression management and states that it is achieved…
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Roles The concept of dramaturgy developed by Erving Goffman explains how people present their selves in social settings. All of them perform certain roles in order to fit their social circle. Goffman defines this process by the term impression management and states that it is achieved by sign vehicles (Brissett and Edgley). In their turn, sign vehicles are presented by manner of interacting, social settings and appearance. This paper will analyze the roles I perform in everyday life and how I engage in impression management in everyday life.
Behavior of every person (actor) depends on the performance and the team. Communication in team is crucial; there is some information that is over-communicated and there are secrets that are silenced by team members. To add to the point, there are personal secrets and inside secrets that are not disclosed to anyone. Goffman defines 3 basic roles a person can have; they are presented by performers, audience and outsiders (Goffman 88). There are a couple of more interesting roles defined by Goffman; for instance, «the informer» is a person who pretends to be «performer», but, in fact, steals secrets from the group. «The shill» is the person who pretends to be «the audience» but belongs to the team. «Mediator» belongs to several teams and knows their inside secrets; this information helps him to mediate relationships between these two teams (Goffman 94). «The spotter» is empowered to present the audience and he knows much information about the performance. «The shopper» is another kind of person who belongs to the team and stays unremarked but once they are kicked out of the group, they join another group and give away everything they have seen (Goffman 92).
I have different roles in my life; I am a «performer» in several teams including my family, friends, neighbors and school community. I am the audience when it comes to interactions in these groups; for instance, when I observe how someone replies in the class I am the audience as the teacher and the respondent lead the performance. I am «outsider» to many teams; many subcultures I do not join are strange to me and I know nothing about them.
As far as I belong to several teams at a time, I perform the role of a «mediator». I decide what to tell my parents about my friends and adjust my behavior accordingly. I use different sign vehicles in these teams and make everything possible to maintain good relationships between these two teams. Social settings, manner of interacting and appearance are defined by the group. I prefer to dress smartly when I am going in club with my friends but I will never do the same at a family dinner. The language and gestures I use at home are more reserved compared to how I behave with my friends. Despite all these differences I must be a good member for both teams.
There are some situations where I perform the role of a «spotter». For instance, when I leave a review about the product I have bought recently, I reveal some details to the audience even though I am also the part of the audience.
In summary, I am an ordinary person who has to switch between different teams and be a good team member for everyone. I am a good child for my parents, a good friend for my friends, a decent student and a funny mate. I know enough information to be a «performer» and a «spotter» in some cases. I am a «mediator» as I belong to several teams and I need to manage relationships between them. I change my manner of interaction and appearance when I communicate in different teams. The application of Goffmans theory shows that it really proves that life is the theater and all people are actors.
Works Cited
Brissett, Dennis, and Charles Edgley, eds. Life as theater: A dramaturgical sourcebook. Transaction Publishers, 2005.
Goffman, Erving. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. University of Edinburgh Social Sciences Research Centre. 1959 Read More
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