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Dramaturgical Theory. Presented by: Janelle Kluczynski , Toni Rence, Samantha Savaglio, & Rod Strut. “The Great Stage of Human Life” – Philebus . Erving Goffman (1922 –1982). Main theorist of the Dramaturgical Theory Schooled in symbolic interaction theory - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Dramaturgical Theory

Dramaturgical TheoryPresented by:Janelle Kluczynski, Toni Rence, Samantha Savaglio, & Rod StrutThe Great Stage of Human Life Philebus

Erving Goffman (1922 1982)

Main theorist of the Dramaturgical TheorySchooled in symbolic interaction theoryExtended Meads basic insights by viewing everyday human behavior as distinctly dramatic, or theatricalHis works include:The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1956) (1959)Behavior in Public Places (1963)Relations in Public (1971)Role Distance (1961)Where the Action is (1967)2Wood (2004)Erving Goffman ContdDeveloped theoretical insights into the drama inherent in routine social lifeSkillfully observed and theorized how people perform in everyday lifeOnce wrote that it is social situations that provide the natural theatre in which all bodily displays are enacted and in which all bodily displays are read.Emphasizes Goffmans focus on how physical, or bodily, actions are used per formatively to craft and project impressions of individuals and to define the nature of particular situations.His theorizing provides a basis for understanding human interaction in everyday life

3Wood (2004)Theatrical MetaphorExtended metaphorical description that explores social world as if it were a theatrical performanceWe all hide behind a set of masksQuestions the idea of personal identityTom Burns compares it to a Russian Doll- a series of selves, one inside of the other (B106-107)Similar to Goffmans Game-theoryWe all play a game in which we attempt to strategically outwit our rivals for personal gain

4Influenced ByKenneth BurkeGrammar of Motives and Permanence and ChangeBehavior and the motives behind themMarcel MaussLinked the theatrical analogy with ritual (b109)Victor TurnerTied dramaturgical expressiveness and the ritual meanings it utilized (b109)Lvi-Strauss (b110)The Savage MindRitual has a reconciling and reunifying function

5SIAC SchemaAcronym developed by Philip Manning based on Goffmans teachingsAttempts to specify broad assumptions people use in social interactionsSituational ProprietyMeanings of actions are derived from the context in which they are usedMust have knowledge of situation to understand behaviorTypes of ContextsEncounters- single focus of attentionSocial Occasions-event justifies existenceSocial Gatherings- loose groupingsSocial Situations- broadest

InvolvementCapacity to give or withhold proper attention to the activityAccessibilityBeing accessible to friends and strangers Keeps us as members of a common social worldEx- common courtesies such as telling the time or giving directionsCivil InattentionWillingness to be seen A sign of deferenceRespect we give to and owe from strangersEx- avoiding eye contact in an elevator

6Dramaturgical ModelThis model relates ordinary social interaction to theatrical performanceThe setting, or context, of interaction is viewed as a stageThe people who are acting are actors and those who are watching are the audienceEveryday humans are performing as if in a play

7Wood (2004)The 6 Dramaturgical PrinciplesPerformancesTeamRegionDiscrepant rolesCommunication out of charactersImpression Management

8Dramaturgical Principle: Performance (p41-42)All activity of a given participant on a given occasion that serves to influence in any way any of the other participants (40)In order to be successful, actors must convince audience that their performance is realityMust be idealized- put in the best light, compatible with cultural norms and valuesCan also be negative idealizations- worst lightMystification- maintaining a distance from the audience to appear more interesting Are often misrepresented because symbolic ideas can be easily persuadedEx- forging a birth certificate to pass as aristocracy

9Performance ContWood (2004)10Difference in tone and intensity distinguishes stage acting from acting-out (which goes on in everyday conversationFront Stage- a set of stereotyped expectationsProps, appropriate facial expressions, role attitudesBack Stage- time and space for the preparation of procedures, disguises, and materialsDramaturgical Principle: Team (p42)Successful performances are usually done by teamsCan be compared to as secret societiesRun by Directors

Wood (2004)11Dramaturgical Principle: Regions (p 42-43)Perform in Front RegionsIn order to succeed, there must be an agreement between the team and the audience that what is portrayed is actual realityRehearse in the Back RegionsSpace to rehearse, where disguises and materials are stored (b112)A Guarded Passageway connects these two regions Ex- Funeral ParlorThese regions allow teams to keep secretes

Wood (2004)12Dramaturgical Principle: Discrepant RolesPeople with these roles try to gain access to team secretes by pretending to be part of the teamAttempt to gain access to backstageMost have a right to access this area but abuse the privilege for their own gainExamples- informer, confidant, colleague, mediator, servant

Wood (2004)13Dramaturgical Principle: Discrepant Roles(p 43)5 types of secretes that teams haveDark Secrets- incompatible with teams imageStrategic Secrets- what the team plans to doInside Secrets- identify a person as a team memberEntrusted Secrets- demonstrate trustworthinessFree Secrets- disclosed without discrediting team performance

1414Dramaturgical Principle: Communication Out of Principle(p 43-44)Performers disclose information that damages their face4 Forms of out-of-character outburstsTreatment of the absent- involves uncomplimentary role-playing or terms of referenceStaging Talk- meant to assure others that everything went well Team collusion- allows the audience to have a special relationship with the teamRealigning actions- recourse to humorEx- saying it was a joke

15Dramaturgical Principle: Impression Management (p 44)Avoid projected self to be confused with a presented self Depends on audience to limit any interactional damageWild Card- adding uncertainty to the conversation

Wood (2004)16Impression Management The process of managing setting, words, nonverbal communication, and dress in an effort to create a particular image of individuals and situationsOur efforts to create and project certain impressions may be either highly calculated or unintentional Goffman (1959)We may be highly strategic in crafting an image but unaware we are creating an impressionMany believe it is manipulative and deceitfulIt can be, however, deceptive and unethical

17Wood (2004)17Ways We Manage Impressions in Everyday LifeWomen remove hair from bodies:Legs UnderarmsAct differently when with friends, then with familyProfessional interactions and personal interactionsDrinking straight from the carton when at home, but when in front of others using a glassLook as though you are paying attention in class to get the approval of a professorHiding your accents in front of peopleDressing professionally in front of professors and not in front of family and friends

18Wood (2004)FaceEmbarrassment and Social Organization (1965)We are guardians of face-to-face situationsMotive is to protect social situationsWe project a self that has positive social valueKnown as a persons faceProtecting our face makes us monitor our actions

Face-work makes our actions consistent with out projected selves (g39)Maintained through avoidance or corrective actionsThe result of face-work is a ritual equilibriumEmbarrassment occurs when a projected self is not maintainedLoss of face occurs when the projected self and the actual self does not coordinate together

19FramesModels we rely on to make sense of experienceWe rely on frames to define situations for ourselves and othersWe learn frames through interaction with the generalized other, or society as a wholeMembers of a society or a social community share many common frames for interactionTypically reflect cultural knowledge Vary from culture to culture

20Wood (2004)Role PerformanceRole- represents routines or modes of behavior appropriate to specific social positions (b 107)Comprised of inventiveness and improvisationMeaningful content- posture, movements, gestures, wordingLearned by imitation, practice, and experienceStamina, timing, and judgmentWood (2004)21Levels of EuphoriaLevels of euphoria are based on contextual normsAn inappropriate level can indicate a faulty personEuphoric OccasionsWhen exchanges run smoothly with minimal embarrassmentDysphoric OccasionsWhen exchanges are derailed due to

Wood (2004)22Criticism on Erving GoffmanLack of Clarity Does Life is Drama as a metaphor explain this theory thoroughly? Wood says, Bruce Wiltshire (1977) argues that theater use as a metaphor, but limited as a description of social life and interaction among people, (2004, p.124). Bruce Gronbeck argues if the Dramaturgical model fits more into Art or Science, (1980).Gronbeck also points out that the Dramaturgical Model can be used in many diverse fields of studies like; Political Science, Sociology, Criminology, Psychology, Mass Communication, Anthropology, and Psychiatry; therefore, exploring the dramaturgical perspective [can] generate lawful relationships that can perhaps be molded into full-blown scientistic theories,(Gronbeck, 1980, pp. 315-16).

Gronbeck, B.E. (1980). Dramaturgical theory and criticism: The state of art (or science?). The Western Journal of Speech Communication, 44, 315-330.Wood, J. (2004). Communication theories in action: An introduction (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA, Wadsworth)23Criticism on Goffman ContdFront Stage/ Back Stage David and Cheryl Albas (2007)say that, front stage/back stage is considered the game, and it is used to bring out the fun aspects of encounters, (p. 554).Goffman turned away from interactional concerns (the traditional focus of sociology) to focus on how people interpreted different events and situations, which m


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