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Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, the

In The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1956), one of sociologist Erving Goffman's earliest works, he uses the imagery of the theater as an analogy to everyday life in order to portray the importance of human interaction in the production of self-identity and self-design. Ideas found in the book follow the symbolic interactionist tradition in general—that all reality is socially constructed. Goffman sees the individual self as a product of the various means by which it is produced, maintained, and constrained through interaction with others who both create and threaten it. Thus, people do not merely act for the sake of action; rather, all actions are social performances with the aim of not only achieving the inherent purposes of the action itself but also ...

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