Erving Goffman and His Model of Social Interaction

Explanation of Erving Goffman’s theory of self and how he uses the metaphor of the stage to describe the different dimensions of the self.

Observing and analyzing social roles is a primary interest of Erving Goffman, from which he develops his theory of self. Using the metaphor of the stage, he describes the way that the individual carries out activities of his or her role in the same way an actor would perform roles before an audience. The role-playing or performance varies according to context and usually intends to please the present audience. This paper explains how Goffman unfolds different dimensions of the self locating individuals in the world of performance.