Impression Management

Please note that Discussion Forums are not free-for-alls where everyone shares what they “think” on a topic. All postings must be thoughtful, mature, well-written, and indicate that you have read and engaged in the module material. High quality posts will be around 200 words and include in-depth discussion of the questions and include evidence that you have read/reviewed all required materials. Chapter 4 of Introduction to Sociology . in the file below is the material that I had to read.

“Thus, when an individual appears in the presence of others, there will usually be some reason for him to mobilize his activity so that it will convey an impression to others which it is in his interests to convey.” -Erving Goffman on Impression Management as Control 

Erving Goffman is known for his advancement of dramaturgical theory. One of his key ideas is that of “impression management” — meaning that we work constantly to create certain impressions in the minds of those around us about who we are. Sometimes this can be hard to see, but a great and easy-to-understand example is how we present ourselves on social networking websites. Do you just choose a random photo to use as your profile photo? No! So why do you (and others) choose the profile pictures that you choose? (Hint: It’s likely “impression management”…) 

Extensively using Goffman’s terminology (e.g.: face, stage, props, etc.) and information from the textbook and assigned article:

  1. Describe how you present yourself on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat and other social networking websites (please note that I am not asking what you do on Facebook in general, but instead, how what you do relates to Goffman’s theory). If you do not use social media, consider how you use impression management in some other area of your life.
  2. In what ways is “online” impression management similar/different the the impression management we use in our “real” face-to-face interactions?

It’s important to note that we ALL “do” impression management each and every day as we move from different roles in our lives, so please avoid posts that indicate you are somehow exempt from this behavior. If you are not on any social networking websites, think about the face-work you do in your day-to-day life as you move between different roles in your life. 

MAKE SURE YOUR POST EXPLICITLY REFERENCES THE THEORY AND RELATED CONCEPTS AND IS NOT JUST A STATEMENT ON YOUR/OTHER’S BEHAVIOR ONLINE; POSTS THAT ARE SIMPLY YOU DESCRIBING YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKING USE WITHOUT ANY USE OF THE THEORY WILL RECEIVE A 0

 

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