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Current time:0:00Total duration:3:32

Video transcript

Erving Goffman was a famous sociologist in the 1940s and he studied people in the nature of their interaction so while I was observing people in their social setting you notice a lot of interesting things he noticed that people plan their conduct they want to guide and control how they're seen they act differently in social settings than when they're alone and they also want to put forth the best presentation of themselves they can and he says that people do all these things through a process called dramaturgy and he goes on further to break down dramaturgy into two different parts the first part is called front stage and front stage is simply when people are in a social setting so they're around a lot of people so we could take an example maybe we have a guy and he's he's on this stage and he's with a bunch of guys and he's trying to make some friends and he's new to a place and they all say hey you want to come to the baseball game you can come watch and we can hang out we can get to know each other maybe we can become friends he said oh yeah sure I love baseball so he goes and watch the game but really he doesn't like baseball at all maybe really aids baseball but he's just doing it to sort of give off the impression that hey I'm pretty cool and I like sports so maybe we can be friends so he's just trying to manipulate how he's seen so he can gain favor with those people and get some friends so that's front stage just sort of putting on a front and acting for an audience the second part to Goffman's approach is called backstage and the backstage is a much more private area of our lives and really the backstage this is when the act is over so you sort of come off this stage in front of all these people in the social setting and there is no social setting here you can just be yourself you do whatever comes to mind whatever makes you feel comfortable and nobody knows about it maybe only a few people really close to you know something about your backstage but maybe there's some things in your backstage that nobody knows about so maybe the guy from the first example he's done with the baseball game and hanging out and you know being a real guy or whatever and then he comes over here and now he just loves hanging out with his cat and watching cooking shows and cooking nice meals and that that's it you know he doesn't really like sports but nobody really has to know that about me and an interesting point that I want to bring up is that now you see some people sort of crossing over from their backstage to their front stage due to social media now people are sort of putting on an act in a front in their backstage too to put on a good impression and say hey I'm pretty cool you know I'm in a happy relationship I got a lot of friends I do a lot of cool things but really really this this may not be the case that this guy over here he may just be alone and he may not have a spouse and maybe he just hangs out with his cat all day and then he's just you know he's not as cool as he says he is but that's just an interesting thought you know now people are often taking in their private lives putting on a front and sort of going back on the stage so these two are kind of related in that way so just to review here the front stage you know this is a carefully thought-out act that you do in social settings just to gain favor and maybe use it to your advantage one day and the backstage this is a much more private area of your life that not a lot of people know about and you can sort of kick back and relax and do whatever you want and now we see that these two are sort of related because people through social media are sort of crossing over into the front stage and putting on an act in their private lives so this is just a way that we can understand how we all behave as humans in a social setting