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Dramaturgical Perspective

In one succinct paragraph, describe the dramaturgical perspective. (What distinguishes dramaturgy from other sociological approaches?) Next, describe an "ordinary" situation in which you recently took part, and analyze it using dramaturgical concepts. (Who took part? What happened? How did it happen? How did people "act" during the encounter? Why did people act the way they did? Can you detect a deeper sociological significance to the encounter?)

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"Dramaturgy" is a name that has been assigned to Erving Goffman's concepts of "face" and "the presentation of self". Goffman is often used in psychology because he's a micro level theorist. Remember that micro approaches focus on individuals and groups and their interactions with society (both with individuals as well as how an individual or group interacts with society (i.e. everything as simple as grocery shopping to dealing with the economic crisis). In Goffman's piece "On Face Work" he describes 'face' as being a "positive social value a person effectively claims for himself by the line others assume he has taken during a particular contact" (in Lemert's book "Social Theory: the Multicultural and Classic Readings" 3rd edition, 2004, p 332). What this means is that when we interact with someone, we react based on what we think someone is thinking about us but we're conscious of this. For example, if you were buying a bottle of vodka at a grocery store and the cashier looks at you sternly and with disapproval, you might look down and feel badly about yourself because of how the cashier looked at you. The ...

Solution Summary

The expert describes the dramaturgical perspective. An ordinary situation in which you recently took part is determined.