The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life


One of the defining works of twentieth-century sociology: a revelatory analysis of how we present ourselves to others

'The self, then, as a performed character, is not an organic thing ... it is a dramatic effect'

How do we communicate who we are to other people? This landmark work by one of the twentieth century's most influential sociologists argues that our behaviour in social situations is defined by how we wish to be perceived - resulting in displays startlingly similar to those of actors in a theatrical performance. 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 reveals human character not to be fixed, but fluid and consciously maintained.

'Never less than brilliant' New Statesman

About the author

Erving Goffman

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