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Day 66: Something to preserve from the pages of treasure : 2 (Goffman)

Old cover page from Google Images
Book Title: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
Author: Erving Goffman 
Publisher: First Anchor Books- Random Book House, Inc. New York. 
Edition: 1st ed. (1959)
Genre: Sociology
Status: Read.
How: Personal copy (the cover page that I have is different too)
Quote: Page 59-60, Misrepresentation, Paragraph 5.


The social definition of impersonation, however, is not itself a very consistent thing. For example, while it is felt to be an inexcusable crime against communication to impersonate someone of sacred status, such as a doctor or a priest, we are often less concerned when someone impersonates a member of disesteemed, non-crucial, profane status, such as that of a hobo or unskilled worker. When disclosure shows that we have been participating with a performer who has a higher status than he led us to believe, there is good Christian precedent for our reacting with wonderment and chagrin rather than with hostility. Mythology and our popular magazines, in fact, are full of romantic stories in which the villain and the hero both make fraudulent claims that are discredited in the last chapter, the villain proving not to have a high status, the hero proving not to have a low one (Goffman, 1959, 59-60).

This is one of the best books in the field of sociology. Shakespeare was one of the first to denote the world to that of a stage and human stages or phases to the actor's roles. However, in this one, Goffman explores the ways in which human beings behave in social context and the way humans present themselves to others. He has used the 'dramaturgical' context and it makes a lot of sense to observe the everyday activities. He took every aspect of drama and used it with reference to a human beings everyday act. It also sets the stage for understanding identity and 'self' in human existence. If you like to read sociology based books, this a good one. Goffman was a Canadian sociologist and anthropologist. This book's idea was based on his dissertation (whoa!). I have a 'to-read' list with a couple of other books from the same author. 
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