Presenting Yourself

As we have talked about before there are many ways in which we present ourselves in different situations, settings, around different people, etc. Now with further understanding from the “Down to Earth Sociology” book by Henslin we know that people like to act how they think others view them and how they view themselves, or I’ve found in some cases people like to act like mirrors to those that they are with in a sense mimicking their company.

In one instance people will act in a group sense in which they act how they think those around them want them to act by learning about their “audience.” One way in which people “learn how to act” is by learning information about who they are meeting with (their audience). The first thing The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life mentions is that people like to obtain information about their audience in order so they know how to act as to get a desired response out of that particular person(s). This is not always so easily done though, so one could also base their actions off of their audiences reactions and expressions. Presenting yourself is like a non-scripted play where you must base your content and actions off of your audiences reactions and your audience must show you a sign of faith by accepting this.

On the other hand, people will often act how they think others will view them or how they want others to view them. In many instances this could be to harmonize, comfort, or become antiquated with your audience, or to confuse, mislead, or insult them. In this case instead of adapting your actions to your audience you are trying to accomplish the opposite. Whatever the desired outcome there is a reason behind the “actor’s” actions as to convey their desired impression to their audience.

Whatever the situation we all want to portray a certain kind of persona and there are many ways in which we can achieve that. Goffman would call this acting; as a way of presenting ourselves, and he would say that the many ways we can go about this is by using what we have around us whether it be props, expressions, costume, manners, deception, etc.


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