How Do You Determine If You Have a Dramaturgical Perspective?


Quick Answer

Those who envision the world around them as a play are said to have a dramaturgical perspective. According to Erving Goffman, the primary developer of the dramaturgical perspective, the three vehicles of a dramaturgical perspective are environment, personal appearance and interaction.

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Adopting a dramturgical perspective means to take on the point of view that life is basically one big play, and everyone is a character within it. According to Goffman, people convey images of themselves based on how they perceive themselves and want to be perceived. For a person with dramaturgical perspective, the social setting is the equivalent of a setting in a play; it is where the action takes place. According to Goffman, people with a dramaturgical perspective use their social setting as well as props within it to convey an image of themselves to others. Decor, pets, reading materials and even food are examples of props used within settings to setup individual roles within their life play.

People also use their personal image to characterize themselves. Typically, this type of conveyance is based on stereotype and includes placing emphasis on dress, physical qualities and gait to convey characterization. The third sign vehicle people use in dramaturgical perspective is the way in which they interact with people. Mannerisms, expressions and body language are all examples of interactive behavior that people use to convey character.

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