Erving Goffman's Dramaturgical Sociology at a Basketball Game.

Essay by italdudebudUniversity, Bachelor'sA, October 2005

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Of all the great work done by Erving Goffman and dramaturgical sociology, many people feel that it is the insights on the four different forms of alienation, which are most intriguing. These four types of alienation are called external preoccupation, self-consciousness, interaction-consciousness and other-consciousness. To show the importance and relevance of these four ideas of alienation it is important to test them and try to use them with examples and in context with interactions that are a part of our everyday lives. We shall look at for example, how at a basketball game, all four of these types of alienation take place. One may argue, however, that a basketball game is a very particular form of interaction where rules are quite explicit but that is why it is very similar to any other interaction on the street because there are very explicit laws, which must be followed. By analyzing the types of alienation at a basketball game, whether it be involving the players on the court, the fans in the stands, or the coaches on the bench, we will be able to look at many interactions between people, and how they are organized and what kinds of unarticulated rules are at play.

When looking at interaction-consciousness, it is important to first understand what this term is more specifically about. The idea behind this type of alienation is how someone knows and realizes how the interaction is proceeding. It is what recognizes the use of small talk and sometimes has the consequence of a painful silence. An example is someone who is throwing a party. If the party is not going so well, they will be less inclined to join a conversation (Goffman 1967,120). This type of alienation takes place very often when it comes to basketball and the conversations that...