The Goffmans Notion of Performance in the Formation and Maintenance of Identities
The paper seeks to assess the usefulness of the Goffmans notion of performance in the formation and maintenance of identities. It discusses various elements of Goffman that relate to performance, including beliefs, dramatic realisation, idealisation, misrepresentation, front, and reality and contrivance. Researchers have found out that physical development influences the formation of identities among different networks. Thus, the networks promote efficient performance in the society. The paper will evaluate psychological challenges relating to the formation of identities in the society. It will also outline ideas of performance in relation to social and information exchanges. Specifically, it discusses the notions of Goffman concerning identity performance that outlines crucial elements of performance in social interactions. This helps to maintain and form relevant individual identities in the society. The aim of the paper is to use the Goffmans notions of performance to understand the formation and maintenance of identities.
According to the Goffmans notion of performance, the elements of front assist in forming a part of regular functions to observe the appropriate performance. The concept of front fronts the setting of a person to offer a platform for improved performance. At the individual level, person fronts provide restrictions for the performance. The personal fronts include age, gender, size, posture, and facial expressions. These factors influence the performance of people at the individual level. Goffman (1983, p. 48) also argued that persons should perform activities that highlight and portray facts concerning people. Since individual persons seek to make the hidden things right, it requires the use of energy. The issues of dramatic realisation also make it difficult to maintain peoples expression and actions.
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In most occasions, people who have time to perform a task lack the talent to perform good work. According to the dramatic realisation aspect, performance is fused with individuals ability to dramatise their roles properly. In addition, idealisation creates a developed situation for performance. Specifically, performance promotes social norms (Lawler 2008, p.231). Nevertheless, there exists a gap between humans and socialised aspects of the improved performance. Goffman also argues that people use misrepresentation to understand performance as either genuine or false. In his study, Goffman stated that the study of false performance assisted in promoting honest performances.
Goffman creates the two common-sense model in the form of honest and false performances. He points out that performers must be clear in their performances, but the performances may not be a reality. Goffman uses an example of doctor forced to provide a placebo to patients being aware of its impotence due to the need for better treatment (Llamas & Watt 2010, p. 230). Using this approach, the individual promotes identity as a function of interaction with other people in order to exchange information that allows better definition of identity and behaviour. Goffmans concepts explore the perspective of discussing team and relationship between performance and audience. This illustrates the work of a group of individuals who cooperate to achieve their desired goals (Lamer 1997, p. 67). Visible models provide a relevant response in promoting the realisation of their goals. Therefore, individuals relate to a front that perceives its enhanced group performance.
Psychological challenges are relevant in understanding the social identity formation and interaction among networks. Performance relates to the social networks that are formed within a society. These psychological challenges seek to discuss the cultural identities and formations in the society (Knapp 2008, p. 78). These theories are crucial in psychological development that explores the use of self-presentation concepts. The concepts seek to evaluate the relationship between identity and self-categorisation among group formation and identities. Furthermore, it evaluates the effectiveness of networking using various methods, including the use of ethnographic methodologies (Henkel 2005, p. 168). As a result, psychological development is crucial in understanding performance in their formations and identities.
Understanding of identities also helps to evaluate the effectiveness of aspects in social lives. This relates to the development of social forms of organisation and other social practices in order to attract cohesive functions among different groups. Identities are political. Multicultural aspects in the society reveal the distance between ideas and multiculturalism aspects that exist in the society. Scholars were confused about identities and identifications, and the concepts of identity were abandoned. However, formations of identities relate to the political aspect that intends to follow a certain local area. Therefore, it assists in forming crucial decisions on performance by using collective identities in the political perceptions.
Beliefs act as a social product that emphasises symbolic interactions to evaluate the stigmatisation of the people. According to Goffman, he needs the phrase stigma to describe deep attributes of discrediting in the society. Stigma seeks to understand discreditable units in relation to performance in the society. Differences emerge in the discredited groups as they are deviant from the norms, while the discreditable groups manage to keep their information from the public and, thus, it avoids public criticism. In his studies, he cites examples of women who can be taught to be discredited as football players. Concerning the notion of women playing football, it is against their cultures. It would lead to the women being discreditable in their roles if it was discovered that they played professional football. The notion of stigma brings integration of interactions, social structures, and other historical perceptions in the societies. Identities such as gender and race are significant in the interaction studies, as outlined by Goffman. Therefore, the studies assist in understanding stigmatised individuals in the society.
Goffmans perspective of performance formulated a relevant model that could assist in explaining its main concepts in performance. The Goffmans approach to performance developed a dramaturgical model. The dramaturgical model is concerned with regulations that develop social interactions and perceptions. Goffman creates relevant social interactions as performance acts on his audiences. This argues that people take part in a good manner relating to the expectations of the society on how performance is presented. Goffman uses the concept of actor and audience concerning social interactions that match with Butlers ideas of performance. Differences in social psychological theories understand the highly understandable option that improves performance. The dramaturgical framework appreciates that gender is developed by a set of actions. This set of actions is observed to develop relevant gender perspectives.
In terms of the symbolic interactions approach, it focuses on the formation and maintenance of identities through social interaction. Goffman (1968, p. 20) argued that the symbolic interactions approach helped to maintain ones identities. Moreover, the interpretive approach assists in creating relevant platforms for interactions of people. Goffmans perceptions of the front stage and the backstage facilitate negotiation of ideas among the public. The front stage that relates to women enacts better roles as players in fields. In the case of footballers in the United States, it appreciates women assuming their roles. Women can also assume their roles, along their front setting as evidenced in different perspectives. According to Goffman (1997, p. 127), dramaturgical frameworks performance relates to teamwork, cooperation, and expression. Other scholars relate to the Goffmans model in their own researches in relevant environments.
Goffmans concept of team describes a group of individuals who help in directing their routine works. This explains that people usually belongs to a team with more than one member. As brought out by Goffmans (1997, p. 34) front stage perception, players and coaches must be in a unified team, as well as in the front stage composed of fans, opposing teams, and spectators. Players form their teams as coaches form their own teams. A team depends on other members maintaining clear personal expressions of other persons. This also creates a notion of a member who can disrupt performance. In terms of the concepts of teams and directors, Goffman (1968, p. 35) relates to the presentation of teams in maintaining their identities. As a result, the researcher understands how teamwork forms a major part of improved performance in the society.
In addition to the teams and directors concepts, he noted that the teams adopted a party line that represented the team. The concept of teams and party lines are useful in understanding how people construct their identities. The role of instructors is to identify the formation and understand the features of the persons. They also assist in understanding the notion of physicality and communication in teams. The party line is direct related to the teams notion of physicality. In relation to Goffmans model, identities assume cultural understandings of various genders, including male and female. This is based on the assumptions that identity is not stable, but rather a process. This brings out interactions in the performance in which actions of participants are evaluated by their roles. As a result, participants must take into consideration roles of the persons in the project. Goffman (1968, p. 45) uses examples of the role of footballers in the United States. Although the roles of footballers and women may possibly coincide in the perception of United States culture, some players in Detroit could not stop playing. People outside the team may have created an idea of these identities as dichotomous. Women were able to implement their own notions into reality. This forms an important aspect of performance by avoiding the thoughts of people in order to maintain and form ones own identities.
Goffmans (1968, p. 67) ideas of role distances could be favourable for exploring situations in which people use techniques to solve their issues concerning different expectations. The concept of role distance can be used in understanding the uniqueness in the team. Furthermore, it creates concepts of role segregation, audience segregation, and different personalities in the society. Goffman develops the idea of audience segregation in The Presentation of self in Everyday life. Since peopleperform their roles that may seem contradictory, it is often necessary for a person to segregate audiences according to their roles (Pearson 2009, p. 52). Role segregation implies that a particular audience performs a particular role. The persons are allowed to unify in a particular setting in order to take part in another setting. However, the role provided at primacy is the same in the other setting (Reiman 2011, p. 366). The last concept of Goffman is the multiplicity of selves. According to the concept, people have various roles that may be played in one setting. People may be unable to compartmentalise various roles, but it is not easy to separate them. For example, women can act in the central role as players, but they cannot be separated from their roles as wives and mothers.
Goffmans dramaturgical model allows the use of ethnographic techniques as it enhances performance. According to Goffman (1959, p. 45), the performance-centred approach views the subject matter and techniques experienced by the body at a certain place, time, and history. He also argues that the concepts of performance should be directed at face-to-face interactions. Therefore, the concepts outlined above emphasise understanding of different settings for improved performance and maintenance of identities. The idea of identity performance by Goffman promotes social and information exchanges that help to maintain individual identities in the society. He further argued that identity as performance was seen as the follow-up of social interaction since individuals created their own identity performance. With increased self-consciousness, different environments move their performance to higher levels. Gofffman provides that performance articulates the shift in interpersonal relations that emerge from people and exchange of information. As a result, assessment of performance requires observation of various factors that promote social values and relationships among people since some factors of performance may affect the direct exchanges between parties.
As explained from the theatrical model, the front state is an understandable capacity that allows for the setting of performances revealed by individuals in the society. Various approaches to the individuals enhance performance and their identities. Unlike the back stage, it allows for a private area, in which familiarity and secrecy define performance. The aspect of performance can be attached to various geographical locations (Doniger 2005, p. 36). This indicates that people shape their platforms in developing identities that match their personalities. People may manipulate various communication aspects in order to evaluate performances. In relation to the concepts of back stage and front stage, they create relevant codes of communication in different relationships. This leads to understanding personalities and perceptions of people in their own relationships. Moreover, aspects of front stage and back stage as provided by Goffman (1968, p. 35) promote the need for performance in various ways.
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Performance can be connected to social ties in order to understand different contexts for promoting effective relationships and communication in the society. The combination of strong and weak ties develops the emotional intensity and other features that bring people closer. Strong ties attract more people closer, while weak ties distance friends and associates (Manning 1992, p. 45). People who share strong ties are engaged into the performance of identity in which people have relevant performance platforms to develop strong ties (Branaman 1997, p. 34). Therefore, the ties play a crucial role in maintaining appropriate performance along different identities. Efficiency of performance gives individuals the opportunity to promote their identities in the society. Goffman(1959, p. 40) argued that identities of individuals are created within their networks. As a result, people should focus on creating strong ties that promote long-term relations in the society
In conclusion, Goffmans notions of performance are useful in the formation and maintenance of identities. Researchers also suppose that aspect of physical development influences the formation of identities. This depends on the social networks that promote effective performance in the society. According to Goffman, the notion of performance includes beliefs, idealisation, misrepresentation, front, dramatic realisation, and reality. This aspect helps in the formation and maintenance of identities in the society. The concept of dramatic realisation evaluates the performance of individuals through a better understanding of the social norms. Currently, there exists a gap between persons and social aspects that improve performance. He also argues that individuals should promote their identities as it acts as a function of interaction with other people. As a result, this interaction and exchange of information develop a better definition of identity and behaviour. It also evaluates different perceptions of the team and the relationship between performance and audience.
Goffmans notion of performance helps to achieve the desired goal through teamwork and cooperation. Psychological challenges lead to understanding social identity formation and interaction among different networks. Thus, the theories discuss cultural identities and formations in the society. In reference to the dramaturgical models, Goffman developed regulations that created relevant social interactions and perceptions. As a result, the dramaturgical frameworks appreciate the gender perspective in developing a set of actions. The theory of symbolic interactions promotes formation and maintenance of identities through social interactions. The concept of back stage and front stage creates relevant codes of communication within different relationships in the society. Therefore, different views and concepts as revealed by the Goffmans notions of performance lead to the maintenance and formation of identities.