Erving Goffman

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life


Acclaimed on first publication and today considered one of the defining works of the sociology, The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life is Erving Goffman's extraordinary analysis of the structure of our social interactions.

Blurring the line between workaday life and theatrical performance, Goffman argues that our behaviour with others is defined by how we wish to be perceived - resulting in displays bearing a startling similarity to those of an actor on the stage. From the houses and clothes that we use as 'fixed props' to the 'backstage' of the solitude in which our personas are rehearsed and relaxed, Goffman's insight reveals human character to be not fixed or stable, but liquid and consciously maintained.

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