Human beings are very socially flexible creatures. Like a chameleon, we often morph ourselves based on our social setting and roles. This article is going to be a little different from our usual hyper scientific stuff. We will be focussing on sociological theory of how we, as humans, represent ourselves to each other. Today let’s break down Goffman’s theory of Dramaturgy.
Dramaturgy, the science of theatre production, takes on a totally new meaning in the field of sociology. We use dramaturgy to refer to the way people present ourselves in the different roles we take on. Like a theatre production, we have a Frontstage persona & Backstage persona. Our Fronstage persona refers to the way we act for our audience, ie, how we present ourselves to the people around us. The Backstage persona is who you are when nobody’s looking.
Dramaturgical theory explores how human beings “wear masks” to alter how others perceive us. With the advent of the internet we are starting to see an erosion between the Frontstage and Backstage self. The degree of separation offered by your screen makes it incredibly easy to type and post things you would never say out loud. By better understanding why we behave the way we do, we can further explore the roles we play and how these roles may add or detract from your mental health!