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Goffman's Dramaturgical Approach

Term Definition
Dramaturgy using the concept of the theater metaphor to analyze how people interact in our everyday performance.
Persona a mask worn to project a particular image to an audience.
Performance the activity "given off" by an actor for their audience
Stage the makeup of the situation; the location where a performance unfolds
Setting the physical layout or background where interaction occurs, includes the "props"
Scene the action taking place within a specific setting (just like for a drama or play)
Actor/Character/Performer a person in a given role, performing the duties that are consistant with that role
Audience the people for whom we perform our roles-- note: the audience members are also actors to each other
Scripts our internalized categories and "labels" that we project when interacting; can be very explicit, like when people who have certain jobs are expected to literally say specific lines... or like when you are in a relationship and one person says "i love you," you're expected to reply, "i love you, too."
Backstage the "behind the scenes" (ex. in a restaurant, the kitchen is the "backstage")
Impression Management how a person manages their peers impressions of how we act in interactions
Dramatic Realization an attempt to make ones better qualities noticed when they might otherwise go unnoticed (ex. on a date, making sure to point out and talk about your achievements at school, sports, work, etc. to make a good impression.)
Idealization portraying yourself to others in order to closely resemble the values of society (emphasizing your positive qualities to make yourself look better)
Ideal Type presentation of oneself in an optimal manner
Identity Negotiation the process by which roles are established; makes interaction possible
Mystification the air of superiority that occurs when you conceal parts of yourself to create distance
Accounts an explanation for ones actions or behaviors (aka excuses)
Tact how you or others act to avoid embarrass or to attempt repair of a situation

Examples: Restaurants, Dates, Job Interviews, Classroom etc. are explicit examples. But remember that this is happening all the time, everywhere that you go is a new scene with different actors, etc.