Goffman Interaction Ritual Essays On Face-To-Face Behavior

Goffman Interaction Ritual Essays On Face-To-Face Behavior-79
Cohen notes that this approach may provide a way of bridging the gap between the subjective consciousness and praxis perspectives, by considering how social face has meaning and value, and how tacitly enacted rituals defend, protect, and preserve social face (p. Goffman considers emotions and feeling such as embarrassment, feeling bad or good, shame, pride, confidence, assurance, security, and relief (p.8), and makes these an integral part of his analysis of social face.cannot decline a polite handshake tacit cooperation (p. 37) Goffman, Erving, Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-Face Bahavior, Garden City, New York, Anchor Books, 1967.

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Following Goffmans observation that there is a certain order and continuity to social interaction, he begins to examine the ways that such interaction proceeds, considering the procedures associated with the interaction order.

There are various goals that the actor has gaining an income, achieving friendship, pursuing spiritual values, or pursuing various personal emotional goals and face-saving is not the objective, but rather part of the code or rules that actors use in social interaction.

Each of the six essays in the collection explores the phenomenon from a different perspective, through its own analytical and terminological model.

The phenomenon of face-to-face interaction is the running thread which pulls it all together.

Whenever in the physical presence of another individual, humans automatically interact by talking to, gesturing to, thinking about and judging one another – or, in Goffman’s terminology, we take lines and through them claim a face for ourselves.

Goffman turns everyday metaphorical expressions of social interaction into scientific terminology: “lines” are the verbal and non-verbal behaviours that express an actor’s view of the social encounter and its participants (including the actor); and “face” is the image cooperatively constructed by the actor, who projects it, and the other interactants, who interpret it (5).

But the actor is not just an individual face necessarily involves others and social interaction, so the focus for the social actor and his or her social self is always on the nature of the

19-23 ritual disequilibrium or disgrace ritual acts with symbolic component worthy of respect face as sacred [as opposed to profane, and separated from profane] interchange = re-establishment of ritual equilibrium lack of effort by one may be met with more effort by others (p. 28) resolution of situation more important than apportioning blame others protect individual eg.

Goffman makes particular note of the evaluation of the participants, especially himself so that the line presents a view of the self, and this line must also deal with how others view the actor (last line of 1By focusing on emotions and feelings, the implication is that some of this is fairly spontaneous or produced without strong conscious considerations, rather it is the act itself which creates the image and feelings.

Note though that these are a long way from Durkheims social facts or Parsonss norms, in that the social actor has considerable flexibility and spontaneity, and perceptions and responses of others are important aspects of these encounters.


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