Erving Goffman quotes

  • The normal and the stigmatized are not persons, but perspectives.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Perspective #Normal #Persons

  • Choose your self-presentations carefully, for what starts out as a mask may become your face.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Self #May #Faces

  • Our sense of being a person can come from being drawn into a wide social unit; our sense of selfhood can arise through the little ways in which we resist the pull. Our status is backed by the solid buildings of the world, while our sense of personal identity often resides in the cracks
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Identity #Cracks #World

  • Approved attributes and their relation to face make every man his own jailer; this is a fundamental social constraint even though each man may like his cell.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Men #Cells #May

  • The stigmatized individual is asked to act so as to imply neither that his burden is heavy nor that bearing it has made him different from us; at the same time he must keep himself at that remove from us which assures our painlessly being able to confirm this belief about him. Put differently, he is advised to reciprocate naturally with an acceptance of himself and us, an acceptance of him that we have not quite extended to him in the first place. A PHANTOM ACCEPTANCE is thus allowed to provide the base for a PHANTOM NORMALCY.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Acceptance #Able #Phantoms

  • A performer may be taken in by his own act, convinced at the moment that the impression of reality which he fosters is the one and only reality. In such cases we have a sense in which the performer comes to be his own audience; he comes to be performer and observer of the same show. Presumably he introcepts or incorporates the standards he attempts to maintain in the presence of others so that even in their absence his conscience requires him to act in a socially proper way.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Taken #Reality #May

  • Stigma is a process by which the reaction of others spoils normal identity.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Identity #Normal #Reactions

  • Society is organized on the principle that any individual who possesses certain social characteristics has a moral right to expect that others will value and treat him in an appropriate way.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Principles #Way #Moral

  • The self... is not an organic thing that has a specific location, whose fundamental fate is to be born, to mature, to die; it is a dramatic effect arising diffusely from a scene that is presented.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Fate #Self #Fundamentals

  • Any group of persons – prisoners, primitives, pilots, or patients – develop a life of their own that becomes meaningful, reasonable and normal once you get close to it.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Meaningful #Groups #Pilots

  • Perhaps the individual is so viable a god because he can actually understand the ceremonial significance of the way he is treated, and quite on his own can respond dramatically to what is proffered him. In contacts between such deities there is no need for middlemen; each of these gods is able to serve as his own priest.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Needs #Able #Way

  • The world, in truth, is a wedding.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #World #Truth Is

  • All the world is not, of course, a stage, but the crucial ways in which it isn’t are not easy to specify
    -- Erving Goffman

    #World #Way #Easy

  • Man is not like other animals in the ways that are really significant: Animals have instincts, we have taxes.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Animal #Men #Way

  • And to the degree that the individual maintains a show before others that he himself does not believe, he can come to experience a special kind of alienation from self and a special kind of wariness of others.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Believe #Self #Special

  • When persons are present to one another they can function not merely as physical instruments but also as communicative ones. This possibility, no less than the physical one, is fateful for everyone concerned and in every society appears to come under strict normative regulation, giving rise to a kind of communication traffic order...
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Communication #Order #Giving

  • So I ask that these papers be taken for what they merely are: exercises, trials, tryouts, a means of displaying possibilities, not establishing fact.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Taken #Mean #Exercise

  • There seems to be no agent more effective than another person in bringing a world for oneself alive, or, by a glance, a gesture, or a remark, shriveling up the reality in which one is lodged.
    -- Erving Goffman

    #Reality #Agents #Alive