Erving Goffman's 'Belief In The Art One Is Playing'

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In the reading, “Belief In the art One is Playing” by Erving Goffman. Goffman speaks of what performances is and the different types of performances. He explains two extreme types of performances, one where you mean what you do, he calls this a sincere performance, and the other one is a performance you do just for the sake of doing it, he refers to this as a cynical performance (Goffman, 61). Throughout the reading he continues to go in-depth about these two terms and clarifies some uncertainty with the terms. He states that there are different motivations behind performances, especially cynical and that not all cynical performances are negative (Goffman, 61). He refers to two scholars in this reading, Park and Kroeber, who both supported the idea behind…show more content…
As well people can go back and forth between these two extremes of performance (Goffman, 63).Goffman continues in the reading with the term “front” and expands on that concept. He defines front as “the part of the individual’s performance which regularly functions in a general and fixed fashion to define the situation for those who see the performance (Goffman, 63)”. In other words, a front is what adds to the performance to help the audience comprehend the performance. Goffman talks about what a setting is, also defines and elaborates on what a personal front is. A personal front, from Goffman’s perspective is, “any other item that of expressive equipment.” He gives some example and categorizes them as “fixed” or “mobile/transitory” (Goffman, 64-65). Fixed variables are things like racial characteristics, where, mobile or transitory variables are things like facial expression (Goffman, 65). This impacts performance studies as a discipline because it affects our everyday life and helps us analyze and better understand ourselves and others in terms of how we

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