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By Goffman, Erving [ [ The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life[ THE PRESENTATION OF SELF IN EVERYDAY LIFE ] By Goffman, Erving ( Author )May-20-1959 Paperback ] ] May-1959[ Paperback ] (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 20. Mai 1959

4.5 von 5 Sternen 4 Kundenrezensionen

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Taschenbuch, 20. Mai 1959
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Format: Taschenbuch
I had to re-read each chapter two or three times to get a full sense of what Goffman was driving at. His ability to get at the inner workings of human interactions is, if not unique, darned rare. This book will repay the effort it takes to read it many times over. Often he'll take up a subject that other writers try to grapple with but don't quite nail, and he'll land a bull's eye so clean and square your head spins. The examples may be dated by the 1950s world Goffman was describing, but the fine details still ring true, as in "Similarly, at middle class American funerals, a hearse driver, decorously dressed in black and tactfully located at the outskirts of the cemetary during the service, may be allowed to smoke, but he is likely to shock and anger the bereaved if he happens to flick his cigarette stub into a bush, letting it describe an elegant arc, instead of circumspectly dropping it at his feet" It's that fine grained detail that Goffman picks up on, that's what's missing in so many page a minute recipe books of cheapo wisdom. And he writes better, too.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I really loved this book. First, I appreciated that it was written in the mid fifties by someone who valued the nuances of words and before books were dumbed down for popular understanding. It's a vocabulary builder.
It was extremely difficult for me to read. I was 41 at the time. Nearly every page revealed to me errors in my thoughts and actions that were profoundly embarrassing. I would have to lay it aside and creep back a few days later to again confront myself.
I am a Buddhist. The book seems to reveal fundamental Buddhist truths discovered independently by an European with no previous exposure to the Dharma. The book powerfully enunciates the proposition that there is no "essence" of ourselves and our personality - but that all life is a performance - all too often, poorly written, produced, directed and acted. In today's politically correct world - this book could never be published.
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Format: Taschenbuch
Good presentation of the settings around presentation and staged performances. It never goes into any tedious details, but focus more on the aspect of "teams" and "stages", much like what can be found in theatres. [Opinion] Everyone ought to make themselves conscious of these structures.
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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
it was not complicated, and very cheap, thank you, i think i will continue to look at amazon when i need old books
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen 52 Rezensionen
109 von 116 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The Arts of Impression Management 22. Juni 2004
Von S. Pactor - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I'm not a student of sociology or psychology, but I can't seem to stay away from the work of Erving Goffman. This is the third book by Goffman that I've read (others: Stigma, Asylums). In this book, Goffman elucidates a "dramaturgical" theory of self, which he claims is an additional method of explaining human action.
First caveat, I've not read any books by Talcott Parsons, or Manheim, and there were several sections in this book that were heavy enough in theory to make me give up. Despite these difficult sections, Goffman's style is breezy and interesting enough to make th is book worth reading for a layman.
Roughly, Goffman sets up a model of human interaction that takes most of its metaphors from the realm of theatrical performance. Human interaction takes place between performers and audiences, interactions happen front stage or back stage. This theatrical metaphor is joined by the idea that human actors interact in teams that share similar motives and values. He joins this "team" idea to the theatrical metaphor by emphasizing the difference between performers and audiences.
After laying out his framework, Goffman then uses examples from literature, his own research, and other researchers to illustrate his point. It is in this section that his writing can seem a bit dated. For example, he repeatedly discusses how college educated women will "play dumb" for their boy friends. I'm not saying this doesn't (still) happen, but the example could use somet updating.
One of the main insights that I took away from this excellent book is that humans largely exist as social beings through their interactions with other creatures, and the idea of a person as an "individual" is, itself, largely a construct. This largely contradicts much of the books/music I imbibed as a teen and young adult (Ayn Rand, punk rock, I'm looking at you).
It also seems to me that this "dramaturgical" perspective is a thesis that has been widely adopted by the self-help movement. Perhaps I will now explore some of that (voluminous) literature. Perhaps not.
This book is not without it's more disquieting moments. One thought this book led me to is that the important thing in life is the maintaining of whatever appearance one is required to maintaining. So long as that appearance is maintained, what lies underneath (i.e. the traditional concept of self or personality) is effectively unimportant. If we are only what are interactions with others make us, then what we think/feel on the inside and don't share with others, matters not at all.
Goffman himself explains that the dramaturgical perspective is merely another aspect of a larger attempt to explain human action in terms of human INTERaction, but for me, it has great explanatory weight.
97 von 106 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Life as Stage 9. Dezember 2001
Von Pop Curious - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Dr. Erving Goffman, after receiving his Ph.D. in 1953 at the University of Chicago, first published The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life as a monograph at the Social Sciences Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh in 1956. Published by Anchor Books in 1959, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life effectively elaborates on Thorstein Veblen's observations about the character of the Leisure Class. However, Goffman is particularly attentive to the performative and characteristic structure of society. With the idea that "the general notion that we make a presentation of ourselves to others," (252), Goffman's critical analysis of the individual and society illuminates Veblen's theory that the individual, aspiring to a higher social status, eventually becomes an emblem for that status. Goffman delves into the interaction within tightly-knit social fabrics, revealing that the substantive transition of the individual into society is not nearly as important as his/her "performance."
Entry into a tight social circle, according to Goffman, requires "wearing a look" to avoid betraying his true stance. Goffman notes social principles are guided by moral characteristics, which eventually support that individual in society.
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life is not merely a refutation of the adage, "you can't judge a book by its cover" - Photographer Arthur Felig's (also known as WeeGee) 1943 photograph of two impeccably bedecked tiara-sporting society dames, glared at meanly by a crotchety woman, is apt to prompt anyone to pick up the text for a browse. Indeed, in Presenation's case, the photograph has a number of meanings in regard to the substance of the text. Those who "present" themselves in certain respects are often ignorant of the disparaging view they may elicit from others, but if these "others" remotely resemble the growling woman in the photograph, the performers most likely will not care. In addition to the splendid photo, Goffman offers a few little-known meanings of words often arising from society.
Whether the etymology of the word "tact" comes from society, Goffman effectively makes a case that it is a crucial maneuver in the swirling vortex of social circles. Throughout Presentation Goffman offers the point of view of "impression management" as a tool in studying social establishments, explicating them as actor on the proverbial stage. Impression Management serves to "prevent outsiders from coming into a performance that is not addressed to them."
108 von 120 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Magnificently trenchant statement of the essence of existenc 30. Dezember 1998
Von Steffan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I really loved this book. First, I appreciated that it was written in the mid fifties by someone who valued the nuances of words and before books were dumbed down for popular understanding. It's a vocabulary builder.
It was extremely difficult for me to read. I was 41 at the time. Nearly every page revealed to me errors in my thoughts and actions that were profoundly embarrassing. I would have to lay it aside and creep back a few days later to again confront myself.
I am a Buddhist. The book seems to reveal fundamental Buddhist truths discovered independently by an European with no previous exposure to the Dharma. The book powerfully enunciates the proposition that there is no "essence" of ourselves and our personality - but that all life is a performance - all too often, poorly written, produced, directed and acted. In today's politically correct world - this book could never be published.
69 von 76 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen one tough, smart cookie of a book: observant and brilliant 5. Oktober 1999
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I had to re-read each chapter two or three times to get a full sense of what Goffman was driving at. His ability to get at the inner workings of human interactions is, if not unique, darned rare. This book will repay the effort it takes to read it many times over. Often he'll take up a subject that other writers try to grapple with but don't quite nail, and he'll land a bull's eye so clean and square your head spins. The examples may be dated by the 1950s world Goffman was describing, but the fine details still ring true, as in "Similarly, at middle class American funerals, a hearse driver, decorously dressed in black and tactfully located at the outskirts of the cemetary during the service, may be allowed to smoke, but he is likely to shock and anger the bereaved if he happens to flick his cigarette stub into a bush, letting it describe an elegant arc, instead of circumspectly dropping it at his feet" It's that fine grained detail that Goffman picks up on, that's what's missing in so many page a minute recipe books of cheapo wisdom. And he writes better, too.
49 von 56 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A justifiable classic - though not without its flaws 23. Dezember 2004
Von John H. Teeple - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This review is being written as I am reading "The Presentation of the Self" for the third time. And to put all my cards on the table: I read Goffman more out of necessity than interest.

This book is a classic for all the right reasons. It is thoroughly argued, well-grounded in empirical examples, and offers a (at the date of its initial publication) truly original approach to the study of social situations. Additionally, although Goffman's prose is a little thick, anyone can understand his argument. He does not expect a readership well-informed in any particular social theory.

Goffman offers his own theory, drawing on theater as a rich source of metaphor, to explicate social organization and behavior. Although I personally do not find the argument very compelling, it certainly can't be easily dismissed. This is the product of close observation of social behavior and organization in innumerable contexts, framed by a logical and rigorous theory. Goffman makes what is, in essence, an argument in favor of 'social construction': Individuals consist of diverse sets of roles played out in different situations.

There are definite weaknesses with his argument, however. To begin with the simplest: Goffman's prose, although he does not rely heavily on jargon (and provides adequate definition of any jargon he does use), does not make for a light read. This is dense. The examples are often clear (and occasionally entertaining), but Goffman's prose is stereotypically academic.

Secondly, although the book is full of empirical examples, many of these are based on observations of social situations that would not resonate with the contemporary reader. This book is clearly a product of its time. Readers might find some of the examples, or Goffman's glosses of them, offensive or just plain silly.

Furthermore, as Goffman himself states in the preface, his 'dramaturgical' perspective applies best to, and his examples are drawn from, "the kind of social life that is organized within the physical confines of a building or plant." This is social psychology applied to a very particular sort of social organization. While Goffman's theory may have applications to, say, the study of family structure, or intimate interpersonal realtionships, he clearly meant it to apply most directly to office places, service industries, royal courts and the like. In other words, the dramaturgical perspective works best in explaining those situations in which performance is an expected part of the social structure (i.e., expected by the performers themselves) - but might fall short in those situations in which the aim is 'being genuine'.

Consequently, Goffman's argument does not necessarily demonstrate that individuals lack a 'core self' or identity. Goffman, however, suggests in his conclusion "that the very structure of the self can be seen in terms of how we arrange for such performances" as he discusses - in other words, that we are our performances, and nothing more. It is easy to read into Goffman's work the suggestion that we lack core identities. I do not think his analyses support that suggestion, however.

On this matter, compare Goffman's arguments to the philosopher Thomas Nagel's argument in "Concealment and Exposure". Nagel argues that for certain social situations to work smoothly, we (as participants) need to 'conceal' aspects of ourselves (thoughts, feelings, biological urges...) that would disrupt that smooth flow. Nagel does not mean that we do not have such thoughts, feelings, or urges; only that we must cover them up from time to time. Structurally, Nagel and Goffman make very similar arguments: There are social demands placed on individuals such that we, effectively, have to 'act' out certain roles in order to maintain social organization. But where Goffman stretches this insight to claim that the 'self' consists entirely of such performances, Nagel is able to reconcile a dramaturgical perspective on social behavior with the existence of an individual self. (That is to say, an argument about how the self is presented in social situations concerns only the self's presentation. It is not an argument about the identity of that self, per se.)

Finally, Goffman does not offer an explanatory theory - this is purely (although rigorously) descriptive. Goffman refers to this book as "a sort of handbook", and it is; it is almost a field guide or crash course in social observation. Of course, in social theory as in anything, clear observation and a logical classification of what we are observing is a necessary overture to explanation. As such, this is not really a weakness, but Goffman's readers should accept that additional argumentation is necessary to account for *why* our performances are divided into front and back regions, etc. On a related matter, Goffmanian analyses have been critiqued for being politically conservative; since they are heavily descriptive, they tend to take society as it is presented, with little or no normative judgment. Take that as you will. From my perspective, it is a weakness; others would certainly regard it as a strength.

All in all, this is a worthy read, whether or not you agree with Goffman's analyses. It is especially important that those who disagree with Goffman should read this book; it has had such a tremendous impact on the practice of sociology that familiarity with it is a necessary part of any broad reading of social theory.
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