Dramaturgy is a sociological perspective that focuses on the management of everyday life. Erving Goffman is credited as being one of the chief proponents. Erving Goffman (–) developed a dramaturgical theory of the self and society inspired by Mead’s basic conception of social interaction. In the selection . For Erving Goffman (–), arguably the most original For Goffman, the subject matter of dramaturgical sociology is the creation, main-.

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Protective techniques are used once the interaction begins in order to cover mistakes. For example, a couple may have a fight, where they raise their voices and call each other names. The appeal of dramaturgy lies in the fact that it can be applied to a large variety of situations in which strangers with different frame of references or belief systems interact.

However, the back stage self is still present, though undetectable. These roles are subject to what is in theater termed “breaking character”. Performers need to be able to maneuver boundaries to manage who has the access to the performance, when and how. Interpersonal relationships Symbolic interactionism.

Dramaturgy (sociology)

Views Read Edit View history. For example, a server in a restaurant is likely to perform one way in front of customers but might be much more casual in the kitchen. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

For that, several specialized roles are created. In this comparison, the role of the kids as the audience is also important as they are pretending to accept their parents act shows that the play was a success even if the children know their parents fight.


The goal of the performance is to make an audience, who are the observers of the performance, to believe in what is being enacted.

Dramaturgy (sociology) – Wikipedia

The enactment of exclusion from a society seem to be essential for the formation of an imaginary central governing cf. The term was first adapted into sociology from the theatre by Erving Goffmanwho developed most of the related terminology and ideas in his book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.

New York, New York. Outside, or off-stage, is the place where individuals are not involved in the performance although they may not be aware of it.

Simply put, the back stage is completely separate from the front stage. In Frame Analysis[5] Goffman writes, “What is important is the sense he [a person or actor] provides them [the others or audience] through his dealing with them of what sort of person he is behind the role he is in” p. dramaturg

This is a competition of power, a prime example of dramaturgy. These items are usually identifiable by the audience as a constant representation of the performance and actor.

The Social Construction and Communication of Power”. Borders or boundaries are important as they prevent or restrict movement of individuals between various regions. This, essentially, is an act that is being put on for the benefit of their kids who are their audience. Retrieved from ” https: Performances can have disruptions actors are aware of suchbut most are successful.

Kenneth Burkewhom Goffman would later acknowledge as an influence, [1] had earlier wrving his notions of dramatism goffkanwhich in turn derives from Shakespeare. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Dramaturgy tries to understand how order and ordering is established by a performance. In addition to this, it also has been said that dramaturgy does not contribute to sociology’s goal of understanding the legitimacy of society.


According to Goffman, every individual is engaged in impression management by his conscious decision to present himself in a certain way and his continuous performance to ensure that a particular image of himself is established. It is claimed to be drafting on positivismwhich does not offer an gkffman in both reason and rationality; John Welsh called it a “commodity”.

These two concepts are necessary for dramatturgy actor to have dramatutgy successful performance. At his home, however, there may be more paintings and art displayed rather than books that reflect his real passion for art.

The theory was designed for total institutions and some believe that theories should not be applied where they have not been tested. Rites of passage seem to reflect this as the enactments of exclusion, and dissociation seem to be an essential feature of such. But the minute their kids come home, they change automatically into their good natured selves and address each other pleasantly and act as if they are at their happiest.

These decisions range from how we dress each day, like, for example, casual or formal ervlng, how we style our hair to even decisions like the kind of body language that we display.

For the theatre-related meaning of this word, see Dramaturgy.