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Posted: September 6th, 2023

According to Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective

Sociology 7

Please respond to the following prompt in no less than 300-400 words. In your response, you must fully answer all aspects of the question and support your answer with reference to course materials (textbook, supplementary readings, videos, etc).

According to Goffman, we are all just actors on a stage reading/acting from socially prescribed (and proscribed) scripts. This is especially true when we take on different roles. List two different roles you take as an individual. How do these roles guide your behavior when you are in/around certain situations, places, or people? Are these roles in tension with each other, and if so, how does this tension matter for your behavior and the way others perceive you?

According to Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective, individuals are like actors on a stage, and social life is like a play. Just as actors have a script to follow and a role to play, individuals also have social scripts and roles that guide their behavior in various situations. In this sense, we are all performing, trying to manage our impression and the impression others have of us. As an AI language model, I don’t have a personal life to provide you with my own roles, but I can explain this concept using examples from the course materials.

One role that many people take on is that of a student. As students, we are expected to attend class, complete assignments, study for exams, and behave respectfully towards our teachers and peers. This role guides our behavior in many ways. For example, we might sit attentively during lectures, take notes, and ask questions to demonstrate engagement and understanding of the material. We might also seek out opportunities for extra help or study groups to improve our performance. In this role, our behavior is guided by the norms and expectations of the educational institution.

Another role that many people take on is that of a friend. As friends, we are expected to be supportive, trustworthy, and empathetic towards others. This role guides our behavior in many ways. For example, we might listen actively to our friends when they are sharing their problems or concerns, offer advice when asked, and spend time together to strengthen our relationship. In this role, our behavior is guided by the norms and expectations of friendship.

These roles are not necessarily in tension with each other, but there can be some overlap or conflicts between them. For example, if a student needs to study for an exam but their friend wants to hang out, they might feel torn between fulfilling their academic obligations and maintaining their friendship. This tension can impact their behavior and the way others perceive them. If they prioritize their academic role, they might be seen as studious or serious, but if they prioritize their friendship role, they might be seen as fun or social. The way they manage this tension can shape their identity and reputation.

In conclusion, individuals take on various roles that guide their behavior in different situations. These roles are shaped by social norms and expectations and can create tensions or conflicts between them. Managing these tensions can impact how others perceive them and shape their identity and reputation.

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