The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

  • 98 2,131 3
  • Like this paper and download? You can publish your own PDF file online for free in a few minutes! Sign Up

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

THE PRESENTATION OF SELF 1 IN EVERYDAY LIFE ERVING GOFFMAN University o f Edinburgh Social Sciences Research Centre

5,694 1,290 3MB

Pages 173 Page size 344.65 x 594.95 pts Year 1610

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD FILE

Recommend Papers

File loading please wait...
Citation preview

THE PRESENTATION OF SELF 1

IN

EVERYDAY LIFE

ERVING GOFFMAN

University o f Edinburgh Social Sciences Research Centre

Price : Ten Shillings

THE PRESENTATION OF SELF IN

EVERYDAY LIFE

ERVING GOFFMAN

University o f Edinburgh Social Sciences Research Centre $9 George Square, Edinburgh S Monograph No. 2 1956

o

M a s k s are a r r e s t e d e x p r e s s i o n s and a d m irab le e c h o e s of f e e lin g , a t o n c e f a ith fu l, d i s c r e e t , a n d s u p e r l a t i v e . L iv in g t h i n g s in c o n t a c t with th e a ir must a c q u i r e a c u t ic l e , and it i s not u rg e d a g a i n s t c u t i c l e s th a t th e y are not h e a r t s ; y e t som e p h i l o s o p h e r s s e e m to be a ngry w ith im a g e s for not b ein g th in g s , a n d w ith w ords for no t b e in g f e e lin g s . Words and im a g e s are l ik e s h e l l s , no l e s s in te g r a l p a r t s o f n a tu re th a n a re th e su b ­ s t a n c e s th e y c o v e r , but b e t te r a d d r e s s e d to the e y e a n d more o p e n to o b s e r v a tio n . I w ould not sa y th a t s u b s t a n c e e x i s t s for th e s a k e of a p p e a r a n c e , or f a c e s for the s a k e of m a sk s, or the p a s s i o n s for the s a k e o f p o etry a n d virtu e . N oth in g a r i s e s in n a tu re for th e s a k e o f a n y th in g e l s e ; a ll t h e s e p h a s e s and p r o d u c ts are in v o lv e d e q u a l l y in th e round o f e x i s t e n c e ............. G eorg e S a n ta y a n a 1

1 S o lilo q u ie s in E n g la n d 1922), p p . 131-132.

and

L a te r S o lilo q u ie s

(New York: S cribners,

A CK N O W LED G EM EN T S T h e re p o r t p r e s e n t e d h ere w a s d e v e lo p e d in c o n n e c tio n with a stu d y of i n te r a c t io n u n d e r ta k e n for th e D epartm ent of Social A n th ropolo gy and t h e S ocia l S c i e n c e s R e s e a r c h Com m ittee of th e U n iv e r s ity of E dinbu rgh and a stu d y o f s o c i a l s tr a t i f i c a t i o n s u p p o r te d by a F o rd F o u n d a tio n gran t d ir e c te d by P r o f e s s o r E. A. S h i l s a t th e U n iv e r s ity o f C h ic a g o . I am grateful to t h e s e s o u r c e s of g u i d a n c e an d support. I would l i k e to e x p r e s s t h a n k s to my t e a c h e r s C. W. M .H a rt, W. L. Warner, an d E. C. H u g h e s . [ w ant, too, to th a n k E l i z a b e t h B ott, J a m e s L itt le jo h n , a n d E d w ard B a n fie ld , who h e lp e d me at the b eg in n in g of th e stu d y , and f e ll o w - s tu d e n ts o f o c c u p a t i o n s a t th e U n iv e r sity o f C h ic a g o who h e l p e d me la te r . Without th e c o l la b o r a t io n of my w ife, A n g e lic a S. Goffman, t h i s rep ort would not h a v e been w ritten.

PREFACE 1 m ean t h i s report to s e r v e a s a sort of handbook d e t a il in g o n e s o c io lo g ic a l p e r s p e c t i v e from w hich s o c ia l lif e c a n be s t u d i e d , e s p e c i a l l y t h e kind o f s o c i a l lif e th a r i s o r g a n is e d w ith in t h e p h y s i c a l c o n f in e s of a b u ild in g or p lant. A s e t of f e a t u r e s w ill be d e s c r ib e d w hich to g e th e r form a framework th a t c a n be a p p l ie d to any c o n c r e te s o c ia l e s ta b l is h m e n t, be it do m e s tic , i n d u s t r i a l , or com m ercial. T h e p e r s p e c t i v e em ployed in t h i s report i s th a t of th e t h e a t ­ rical p erfo rm an ce ; th e p r i n c i p l e s deriv e d a r e dram aturgical o n e s . I s h a ll c o n s i d e r th e way in which th e in d iv id u a l in ordin ­ ary work s i t u a t i o n s p r e s e n t s h im s e lf and h i s a c t i v i t y to o th e rs , th e w a y s in w hich he g u id e s and c o n t r o l s th e im p r e s s io n th e y form of him, and th e k in d s o f t h i n g s h e may an d may not do w hile s u s t a i n i n g h i s p erform ance before them . In u sin g t h i s model I will attem p t not to make lig h t of i t s o b v io u s in a d e q u a ­ c i e s . T h e s t a g e p r e s e n t s t h i n g s th a t are m a k e - b e lie v e ; p resum ­ ab ly life p r e s e n t s th i n g s th a t are rea l a n d s o m e tim e s not well rehearsed. More im portant, p e r h a p s , on th e s ta g e one p la y e r » r e s e n t s h im s e lf in th e g u is e of a c h a ^ . c t e r to c h a r a c t e r s pro­ je c te d by o th e r p l a y e r s ; th e a u d i e n c e c o n s t i t u t e s a th ird party to t h e i n t e r a c t i o n —o n e that i s e s s e n t i a l and yet, if t h e s t a g e perfo rm an ce were re a l, o n e th a t would not be th e re . In re a l life, th e t h r e e p a r t i e s are c o m p re s s e d into t w o ; th e p a rt o n e in d i­ v id u a l p l a y s i s ta ilo r e d to th e p a r ts p la y e d by th e o t h e r s pre­ s e n t , and yet t h e s e o th e rs a l s o c o n s t i t u t e t h e a u d i e n c e . Still oth e r i n a d e q u a c i e s in t h i s model will be c o n s id e r e d la ter. T h e i l l u s t r a t i v e m a te r ia ls u se d in t h i s stu d y are of mixed s t a t u s : som e are ta k e n from r e s p e c t a b l e r e s e a r c h e s w here q u a l­ ified g e n e r a l i s a t i o n s are given c o n c e r n in g r e li a b ly re c o rd e d r e g u l a r i t i e s ; some are ta k e n from informal mem oirs w ritten by colourful p e o p l e ; many fall in betw een. T h e j u s t if i c a tio n for t h i s ap p ro a c h ( a s I t a k e to be th e ju s t i f i c a t i o n for Simmei’ s also) i s th a t th e i l l u s t r a t i o n s to g e th er fit into a co h e ren t frame­ work that t i e s to g e th e r b i t s of e x p e r ie n c e the r e a d e r h a s a lre a d y had and p r o v id e s th e stu d e n t with a guide worth t e s t i n g in c a s e s t u d i e s ’of i n s t itu ti o n a l s o c ia l life. T h e framework i s p r e s e n te d in lo g ic a l s t e p s . T h e intro­ duction i s n e c e s s a r i l v a b s t r a c t and may be skip ped.

TABLE

OF CO N TEKTS

PA G E

A ck n o w led g em en ts P reface 'N T R O D U C T IO N

...............................................................................

1

............................................................

10

...............................................................................

47

CHAP.

i II

PERFORMANCES TEAMS

ill

REGIONS

iV

DISCREPA N T

V VI VII

AN D

REGION ROLES

C O M M U N IC A TIO N THE

ARTS

OF

CON CLU SION

BEHAVIOUR

OUT

OF

...

66

.........................................

87

...

107

MANAGEMENT ...

132

............................................................

152

I M P R E S S IO N

CHARACTER

IN T R O D U CTIO N When a n in d iv id u a l e n t e r s t h e p r e s e n c e of o th e r s , th e y com m only s e e k to a c q u i r e inform atio n a b o u t him or to bring in to p la y inform ation a b o u t him a l r e a d y p o s s e s s e d . T h e y w ill be i n t e r e s t e d in h i s g e n e r a l s o c i o - e c o n o m i c s t a t u s , h is c o n c e p t io n o f s e l f , h i s a t t i t u d e tow ard them , h i s c o m p e te n c e , h i s tr u s t­ w o r t h in e s s , e t c . A lthough so m e of th is in form ation s e e m s to be s o u g h t a lm o st a s a n end in i t s e l f , th e re a r e u s u a lly q u ite p r a c ­ t i c a l r e a s o n s for a c q u ir in g it. Inform ation a b o u t th e in d iv id u a l h e l p s to d e f in e th e s i t u a t i o n , e n a b l i n g o th e rs to know in ad­ v a n c e w hat he w ill e x p e c t of them and w h a t th e y may e x p e c t of him. Inform ed in t h e s e w a y s , th e o t h e r s w ill know how b e s t to a c t in o r d e r to c a ll forth a d e s ir e d r e s p o n s e from him. F o r t h o s e p r e s e n t , many s o u r c e s of in fo rm atio n bec om e a c c e s s i b l e an d many c a r r i e r s (or ' s i g n - v e h i c l e s ’) bec om e a v a i l ­ a b l e for c o n v e y in g t h i s inform ation. If u n a c q u a i n te d w ith th e in d iv id u a l, o b s e r v e r s c a n g le a n c l u e s from h i s c o n d u c t an d a p p e a r a n c e w h ich a llo w them to a pp ly th e ir p r e v i o u s e x p e r i e n c e with i n d i v i d u a l s roughly s im ila r to th e o n e befo re them or, more im portant, to a p p ly u n t e s t e d s t e r e o t y p e s to him. T h e y c a n a l s o a s s u m e from p a s t e x p e r ie n c e th a t only i n d i v i d u a l s o f a p a r ti c ­ u la r kind a r e l ik e ly to be found in a g iv e n s o c i a l s e ttin g . T h ey c a n r e ly o n w h a t th e in d iv id u a l s a y s ab o u t h i m s e l f or on do c­ u m e n tary e v i d e n c e he p r o v id e s a s to who and w hat he i s . If ttiey know, or know of, th e in d iv id u a l by v irtu e of e x p e r ie n c e prior to t h e in te r a c t io n , th e y c a n r e ly on a s s u m p t i o n s a s to th e p e r s i s t e n c e an d g e n e r a lit y o f p s y c h o lo g ic a l t r a i t s a s a m e a n s of p r e d ic tin g h i s p r e s e n t an d future beh a v io u r. H o w ev er, d u rin g th e p e r io d in w hich th e in d iv id u a l i s in th e im m e d ia te p r e s e n c e of t h e o th e r s , few e v e n t s may o c c u r w hich d i r e c t l y p ro v id e the o t h e r s w ith the c o n c l u s i v e in fo n n a tio n they will n e e d if th e y a r e to d i r e c t w is e ly th e ir own a c t i v i t y . Many c r u c ia l f a c t s l i e b e yond th e tim e and p l a c e of i n te r a c t io n or l i e c o n c e a l e d w ithin it. For- ex a m p le , th e ' t r u e ’ o r ’ r e a l ’ a t t i ­ tu d e s , b e l ie f s , a n d e m o tio n s o f th e in d iv id u a l c a n be a s c e r t ­ a i n e d o n ly in d ir e c tly , through h i s a v o w a l s or through what 1

a p p e a r s t o be in v o lu n ta ry e x p r e s s i v e behaviour. S im ilarly, if th e in d iv id u a l o f f e r s t h e o t h e r s a p ro d u c t or s e r v ic e , they w ill o f te n find th a t d u rin g the in te r a c t io n th e re will be no tim e an d p l a c e im m e d ia te ly a v a i l a b l e for e a t i n g th e pudd in g t h a t the p roof c a n b e found in. T h e y will b e fo rc ed to a c c e p t s o m e e v e n t s a s c o n v e n tio n a l or n a tu ra l s i g n s of s o m e th in g not d i r e c t ­ l y a v a i l a b l e to th e s e n s e s . In I c h h e i s e r ’ s t e r m s 1, t h e in d i­ vidu al w ill h a v e to a c t so th a t h e in te n tio n a lly or u n in te n tio n ­ a l ly expresses h im s e lf , and th e o t h e r s will in turn h a v e to be impressed in so m e way by him. We find, th e n , th a t w hen th e ind iv id u al i s in t h e im m e d ia te p r e s e n c e o f o th e rs , h is a c t i v i t y w ill h a v e a p r o m isso r y c h a r ­ a c te r. T h e o t h e r s a r e l i k e l y to find th a t th e y m u st a c c e p t the in d iv id u a l o n f a ith , offe rin g him a ju st retu rn w h ile h e i s p re ­ s e n t before them in e x c h a n g e for s o m e th in g w h o s e tru e v a lu e w ill not be e s t a b l i s h e d u n til afte r h e h a s left th e ir p r e s e n c e . (Of c o u r s e , th e o t h e r s a l s o liv e by in f e r e n c e in th e ir d e a l i n g s with th e p h y s i c a l world, but it i s only in th e world of s o c i a l i n te r a c t io n th a t th e o b j e c t s ab o u t which th e y m ak e i n f e r e n c e s will p u r p o s e ly f a c i l i t a t e a n d h inde r t h i s in f e r e n tia l p r o c e s s .) T h e s e c u r i t y th a t they j u s t i f i a b l y feel in m aking in f e r e n c e s ab o u t th e in d iv id u a l w ill vary, of c o u r s e , d e p e n d in g on suc h f a c t o r s a s th e am ount of p r e v io u s inform ation th e y p o s s e s s a b o u t him, but no am ount of s u c h p a s t e v i d e n c e c a n e n t ir e ly o b v i a t e th e n e c e s s i t y of a c tin g on th e b a s i s o f i n f e r e n c e s . L e t u s now tu rn from t h e o t h e r s to th e p o in t of v iew of the in d iv id u a l who p r e s e n t s h im s e lf before them . H e may w is h them to th in k highly of him, or t o think th a t he th i n k s h ighly of them, or to p e r c e iv e how in f a c t h e f e e ls toward them, or to o b ta in no c le a r - c u t i m p r e s s i o n ; he may w ish to e n s u r e s u f f i c ie n t harmony s o th a t the i n te r a c t io n c a n be s u s t a i n e d , or to d efrau d , g e t rid of, c o n f u s e , m is le a d , a n t a g o n iz e , or in s u lt them . R e g a r d l e s s o f th e p a r ti c u la r o b j e c t i v e w hich th e in d iv id u al h a s in mind and of h i s m otive for h a v in g t h i s o b j e c t i v e , it will be in h i s i n t e r e s t s to c o n tro l the c o n d u c t of th e o th e r s , e s p e c i a l l y th e ir r e s p o n s i v e t r e a tm e n t of him. 2 T h i s control is a c h ie v e d la rg e ly by in flu ­ e n c in g t h e d e f in itio n of th e s i t u a t i o n w hich the o th e r s com e to fo rm u late , and h e c a n in f lu e n c e t h i s d e f in itio n by e x p r e s s i n g h im s e lf in s u c h a way a s to g iv e them th e kind o f im p r e s s io n ' G u s t a v I c h e i s e r , ‘ M i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g s in Human R e l a t i o n s ' , S u p plem en t to T h e A m e r ic a n J o u rn a l o f S o c io lo g y , LV, (S e ptem b er, 1949) p p . 6- 7. a i ! e r e 1 o w e m uch t o an u n p u b l i s h e d p a p e r by Tom B u r n s of t h e U n i v e r s i t y of E din burgh, w h ere the argum en t i s p r e s e n t e d r h at in a l l i n t e r a c t i o n a b a s i c u n d e r ly in g th em e i s th e d e s i r e of e a c h p a r t i c i p a n t to g u i d e a n d co n tro l th e r e s p o n s e m ad e by the o t h e r s p r e s e n t .

2

th a t w ill l e a d them to a c t v o lu n ta r ily in a c c o r d a n c e with h i s ow n pla n . T h u s , w hen an i n d iv i d u a l a p p e a r s in th e p r e s e n c e of o t h e r s , t h e r e w ill u s u a l l y be so m e r e a s o n for him to m o b iliz e h i s a c t i v i t y s o th a t it w ill c o n v e y a n im p r e s s io n to o t h e r s w hich it i s in h i s i n t e r e s t s to c o n v e y . I h a v e s a i d th a t when an in d iv id u a l a p p e a r s before o t h e r s h i s a c t i o n s w ill in f lu e n c e th e d e f in itio n of th e s it u a ti o n w hich th e y c o m e to h a v e . S o m etim es th e in d iv id u a l will a c t in a th o roughly c a l c u l a t i n g manner, e x p r e s s i n g h im s e lf in a given way s o le ly in o rd e r to giv e th e kind of im p r e s s io n to o t h e r s th a t i s lik e ly to e v o k e from them a s p e c i f i c r e s p o n s e he is c o n c e r n ­ ed to o b ta in . Som etim es th e in d iv id u a l w ill be c a l c u l a t i n g in h i s a c t i v i t y but be r e l a t i v e l y u n a w a re t h a t t h i s is th e c a s e . Som etim es he w ill in te n tio n a lly an d c o n s c i o u s l y e x p r e s s him­ s e l f in a p a r ti c u la r way, but c h i e f ly b e c a u s e the tr a d itio n of h is group or s o c i a l s t a t u s r e q u ir e t h is kind of e x p r e s s i o n an d not b e c a u s e o f an y p a r ti c u la r r e s p o n s e (o th e r th a n v ag ue a c c e p t ­ a n c e or approval) th a t i s l ik e ly to be e v o k e d from th o s e im­ p r e s s e d by t h e e x p r e s s i o n . S om etim es the tr a d i tio n s o f an i n d iv i d u a l’s ro le w ill l e a d him to g iv e a w e ll-d e s ig n e d im p r e s s ­ ion of a p a r t i c u l a r kind and y e t he may be n e i th e r c o n s c i o u s l y nor u n c o n s c io u s l y d i s p o s e d to c r e a t e s u c h an im p re ssio n . T h e o t h e r s , in th e ir turn, may be s u i t a b l y im p r e s s e d by th e in d iv i d ­ u a l ’s e ff o rts to c o n v e y s o m e th in g , or may s c e p t i c a l l y ex am ine a s p e c t s of h i s a c t i v i t y o f w h o se s i g n i f i c a n c e he i s not a w a re , o r may m is u n d e r s ta n d th e s i t u a t i o n and com e to c o n c l u s i o n s t h a t are w arra n te d n e ith e r by th e in d iv i d u a l’s in te n t nor by the f a c t s . In an y c a s e , in s o far a s the o t h e r s a c t as i f th e in d iv i d ­ ual had co n v e y e d a p a r t i c u l a r im p r e s s io n , we may ta k e a f u n c t­ ional or p r a g m a tic view an d s a y t h a t th e in d iv id u a l h a s ’ e f f e c t ­ i v e l y ’ p r o je c te d a g ive n d e f in i tio n of th e s i t u a t i o n and ' e f f e c t ­ i v e l y ’ f o s te r e d th e u n d e r s ta n d in g th a t a g iv e n s t a t e o f a f f a ir s o b ta in s . When w e a llo w th a t t h e in d iv id u a l p r o j e c t s a d e f in itio n o f the s i t u a ti o n w hen he a p p e a r s before o th e rs , w e must a l s o s e e chat th e o th e r s , how ever p a s s i v e their ro le may s e e m to be, will t h e m s e l v e s e f f e c t i v e l y p r o j e c t a d e f in itio n of the s i t u a t i o n by v irtu e o f th e ir r e s p o n s e to t h e in d iv id u a l and by virtu e of any l i n e s of a c tio n th e y i n i t i a t e to him. O rd in arily we find th a t th e d e f in i tio n s of th e s i t u a t i o n p r o je c te d by th e s e v e r a l d iffe ren t p a r t i c i p a n t s are s u f f i c i e n t l y a ttu n e d to o n e a n o th e r s o t h a t open c o n t r a d ic t io n will not occ u r. I do not mean th a t th e re will be th e kind of c o n s e n s u s th a t a r i s e s w hen e a c h in d iv id u a l p r e s e n t c a n d id ly e x p r e s s e s w hat he r e a l l y f e e l s an d h o n e s tly a g r e e s 3

with th e e x p r e s s e d f e e l i n g s of th e o t h e r s p r e s e n t. T h i s kind o f harm ony i s an o p ti m i s t i c id e a l an d in a n y c a s e n o t n e c e s s a r y for th e sm ooth w orking of s o c i e t y . R a the r, e a c h p a r ti c ip a n t i s e x p e c t e d to s u p p r e s s h i s im m e d ia te h e a r t f e l t f e e lin g s , c o n v e y ­ in g a view of the s i t u a t i o n w hich he f e e l s th e o t h e r s w ill be a b l e to find a t l e a s t te m p o rarily a c c e p t a b l e . T h e m a in te n a n c e o f t h i s s u r f a c e of ag re em e n t, th is v e n e e r of c o n s e n s u s , i s f a c i l i t a t e d by e a c h p a r t i c i p a n t c o n c e a l i n g h i s own w a n ts b e h in d s t a t e m e n t s w hich a s s e r t v a l u e s to w hich ev e ry o n e p r e s e n t is l i k e l y to g iv e l i p - s e r v i c e . F u rth e r, th e r e i s u s u a lly a k in d of d iv is io n of d e f in itio n a l la b o u r. E ac h p a r ti c ip a n t i s a l lo w e d to e s t a b l i s h th e t e n t a t i v e o f f ic ia l ru lin g r e g a r d in g m a tte rs w hich a r e v ita l to him b a t not im m e d ia te ly im portant to o th e rs , e .g ., th e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s and j u s t i f i c a t i o n s by w hich he a c c o u n t s for h i s p a s t a c t i v i t y ; in e x c h a n g e for t h i s c o u r t e s y h e r e m a in s s i l e n t or non-com m ittal on m a tte r s im p o rta n t to o th e r s but not im m e d ia te ly im p ortant to him. We h a v e th e n a kind of i n t e r ­ a c t i o n a l modus vivendi. T o g e t h e r t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s c o n t r i b u te to a s i n g l e o v e ra ll d e f in i tio n o f th e s i t u a t i o n w hich in v o lv e s n o t s o much a r e a l a g re e m e n t a s to w hat e x i s t s but r a th e r a r e a l ag r e e m e n t a s to w hose c l a i m s c o n c e r n in g what i s s u e s w ill b e tem porarily honoured. R e a l a g r e e m e n t will a l s o e x i s t c o n c e m the d e s i r a b i l i t y o f a v o id in g an o pen c o n f li c t o f d e f i n i t i o n s of the s i t u a t i o n . 1 L e t u s refer to t h is le v e l of a g re e m e n t a s a ' w o r k i n g c o n s e n s u s ’. It i s to be u n d e r s to o d t h a t t h e w orking c o n s e n s u s e s t a b l i s h e d in o n e i n te r a c t io n s e t t i n g will be q u i t e d if fe r e n t in c o n t e n t from th e w orking c o n s e n s u s e s t a b l i s h e d in a d iffe ren t ty p e o f s e ttin g . T h u s , b e tw e e n two f r ie n d s a t lu n c h , a r e c ip ro c a l show of a f f e c tio n , r e s p e c t , and c o n c e r n for t h e o th e r i s m a in ta in e d . In s e r v i c e o c c u p a t i o n s , on t h e o th e r hand, th e s p e c i a l i s t o f te n m a i n t a i n s a n im a g e of d i s i n t e r e s t e d in v o lv e ment in th e problem o f t h e c l i e n t , w hile t h e c l i e n t r e s p o n d s with a show of r e s p e c t for th e c o m p e t e n c e and in te g r ity of t h e s p e c ­ i a l i s t . R e g a r d l e s s o f s u c h d i f f e r e n c e s in c o n t e n t, h o w ev e r, t h e g en e ral form of t h e s e w orking a r r a n g e m e n ts i s th e sam e. In n o tin g th e te n d e n c y for a p a r t i c i p a n t to a c c e p t th e d e f in ­ i t i o n a l c l a i m s m a d e by t h e o t h e r s p r e s e n t , we c a n a p p r e c i a t e the c r u c ia l im p o r ta n c e of t h e -information t h a t th e in d iv id u a l initially p o s s e s s e s or a c q u i r e s c o n c e r n in g h i s fellow p a r t i c i ­ 1 An in t e r a c t i o n c a n be p u r p o s e l y s e t up a s a tim e a n d p l a c e for v o i c i n g d i f f e r e n c e s in o p in io n , but in s u c h c a s e s p a r t i c i p a n t s m ust be c a r e f u l to a g r e e no t to d i s a g r e e o n t h e proper t o n e o f v o i c c , v o c a b u l a r y , a n d d e g r e e o f s e r i o u s n e s s in w h i c h a l l a r g u m e n t s a r e to b e p h r a s e d , an d up on t h e m u tu al r e s p e c t w h ic h d i s a g r e e i n g p a r t i c i p a n t s m u s t c a r e f u l ly c o n t i n u e to e x p r e s s to w a r d o n e a n o t h e r . T h i s d e b a t e r s ' or a c a d e m i c d ef i n i ti o n of th e s i t u a t i o n may a l s o be s u d d e n l y a n d j u d i c i o u s l y in v o k e d a s a way of t r a n s l a t i n g a s e r i o u s c o n f l i c t o f v i e w s into o ne t h a t c a n be h a n d l e d w i th in a framework a c c e p ta b le to all p re se n t.

4

p a n t s , for it i s o n th e b a s i s o f t h i s in i t i a l in fo rm ation th a t t h e in d i v i d u a l s t a r t s to d e f in e t h e s i t u a t i o n and s t a r t s to build up l i n e s o f r e s p o n s i v e a c t i o n . T h e i n d i v i d u a l ’s in it ia l p r o je c tio n c o m m its him to w h a t h e i s p r o p o s i n g to be a n d r e q u i r e s him to drop a ll p r e t e n c e s of b e in g o th e r th in g s . ■ A s t h e i n te r a c t io n am ong th e p a r t i c i p a n t s p r o g r e s s e s , a d d i t i o n s a n d m o d if ic a ti o n s i n t h i s in i t i a l in fo rm atio n al s t a t e w ill of c o u r s e o c c u r, -but i t i s e s s e n t i a l th a t t h e s e l a t e r d e v e lo p m e n ts be r e l a t e d withouc c o n ­ tr a d i c t i o n to, and even b u ilt up from, t h e i n i t i a l p o s i t i o n s ta k e n by t h e s e v e r a l p a r t i c i p a n t s . It would seem th a t a n in d iv id u a l c a n more e a s i l y m a k e a c h o i c e a s to w hat l i n e of tre a tm e n t to dem and from an d e x te n d to th e o th e r s p r e s e n t a t th e b e g in n in g o f a n e n c o u n te r th a n h e c a n a l te r t h e l i n e of tr e a tm e n t t h a t i s b e in g p u r s u e d o n c e t h e in t e r a c t i o n i s u n derw ay. In e v e r y d a y life , of c o u r s e , t h e r e i s a c l e a r u n d e r s ta n d in g th a t f irs t i m p r e s s i o n s a r e im portan t. T h u s , t h e work a d j u s tm e n t o f t h o s e in s e r v i c e o c c u p a t i o n s will o fte n h in g e upon a c a p a c i t y to s e i z e and hold t h e i n i t i a t i v e in t h e s e r v i c e r e la tio n , a c a p ­ a c i t y th a t w ill r e q u ir e s u b t l e a g g r e s s i v e n e s s o n th e p a rt of t h e s e r v e r w hen h e i s of lo w e r s o c io - e c o n o m ic s t a t u s th a n h is c l ie n t . W. F. Whyte s u g g e s t s th e w a i t r e s s a s a n e x a m p le : T h e firs c p o i n t t h a t s t a n d s o u t i s t h a t t h e w a i t r e s s who b e a r s up u n d e r p r e s s u r e d o e s n o t s im p ly r e s p o n d ro her c u s t o m e r s . S h e a c t s with s o m e s k i l l to c o n tr o l t h e i r b e h a v i o u r . ] T h e f i r s t q u e s t i o n t o a s k when w e l o o k a t t h e c u s t o m e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i s , “ D o e s t h e w a i t r e s s g e t t h e jump o n t h e c u s t o m e r , o r d o e s t h e c u s t o m e r g e t t h e jump on t h e w a i t r e s s ? ' 1 T h e s k ille d w a itr e s s r e a l i z e s the cru cial nature o f th is q u es tio n . . . . T h e s k i l l e d w a i t r e s s t a c k l e s t h e c u s t o m e r w ith c o n f i d e n c e and w ith o u t h e s i t a t i o n . Fo r e x a m p l e , s h e may find t h a t a n e w c u s t o m e r h a s s e a t e d h i m s e l f b efo re s h e c o u l d c l e a r off t h e d irty d i s h e s a n d c h a n g e rhe cloth. He i s now l e a n i n g on t h e t a b l e s t u d y i n g t h e m enu . She greets h im , s a y s , “ May I c h a n g e th e co v e r , p l e a s e and, w ith o u t w a itin g for an a n s w e r , t a k e s h i s m e n u a w a y from him s o t h a t he m o v e s b ack from t h e t a b l e , a n d s h e g o e s a b o u t h er work. T h e r e l a t i o n s h i p , i s h a n d l e d p o lite ly but firmly, a n d t h e r e i s n e v e r a n y q u e s t i o n a s to who i s in c h a r g e . 1

When t h e i n t e r a c t i o n th a t i s i n i t i a t e d by " f i r s t i m p r e s s i o n s ” i s i t s e l f m e re ly t h e in it ia l i n t e r a c t i o n in a n e x t e n d e d s e r i e s o f i n t e r a c t i o n s in v o lv in g t h e s a m e p a r t i c i p a n t s , we s p e a k of ' 'g e t t i n g o ff on t h e right f o o t ” a n d feel th a t it i s c r u c ia l th a t we do so . T h u s , o n e l e a r n s th a t s o m e t e a c h e r s t a k e t h e follow ing v iew : You c a n ' t e v e r ler th e m g e t t h e u p p e r h and on y ou o r y o u 'r e through. So I s ta rt out tough. T h e f i r s t day I g e t a new c l a s s in, I l e t them know w h o ’s b o s s . . . . Y ou 'v e go t to s t a r t oil t ou gh , t h e n y o u c a n e a s e u p a s y ou go a l o n g . If y o u s t a r t o u t e a s y - g o i n g , w h e n y ou t r y to g e t t o ug h, t h e y ’ll j u s t l o o k a t y o u a nd l a u g h . 2 1 W. F . Whyte, 11 When Workers an d C u s t o m e r s M e e t , ” C h a p . VII, In d u stry a m i S o c ie ty , e d . W . F . Whyte (N ew Y o r k : M cGraw-H ill, 1946), pp. 132-133? T e a c h e r i n t e r v ie w q u o te d by H ow ard S . B e ck er, " S o c i a l C l a s s V a r i a t i o n s in r h e T e a c h e r - P u p i l R e l a t i o n s h i p , " Journal o f E d u c a tio n a l S o c io lo g y , XXV, 459.

5

S im ilarly, a t t e n d a n t s ih m ental i n s t i t u t i o n s may feel th a t if t h e new p a t i e n t i s s h a rp ly put in h i s p l a c e th e f irs t day on th e ward a n d m a d e to s e e who i s b o s s , much future d iffic u lty w ill be p r e v e n te d . 1 G iv en t h e fac t th a t th e in d iv id u a l e f f e c tiv e ly p r o j e c t s a d e fin itio n o f t h e s it u a ti o n when h e e n t e r s th e p r e s e n c e of o th e r s , w e c a n a s s u m e th a t e v e n t s may o c c u r within th e in te r­ a c t i o n w hich c o n t r a d ic t , d is c r e d it, o r o th e r w is e throw doubt upon t h i s p ro je c tio n . When t h e s e d i s r u p tiv e e v e n t s o cc u r, th e in te r a c t io n i t s e l f may com e to a c o n f u s e d and e m b a r ra s s e d h a lt. Some o f t h e a s s u m p tio n s upon which the r e s p o n s e s of the p a r­ t i c i p a n t s h ad b e e n p r e d ic a te d becom e u n te n a b le , and th e p a r ­ t i c i p a n t s find t h e m s e l v e s lo d g e d in a n in te r a c t io n for which th e s i t u a t i o n h a s been wrongly d e fin e d and i s now no lo n g e r de­ fined. At s u c h m om ents th e in d iv id u a l w h o s e p r e s e n t a t i o n h a s b ee n d is c r e d ite d may feel a s h a m e d w hile th e o t h e r s p r e s e n t may f e e l h o s t i l e , and all th e p a r t i c i p a n t s may co m e t o feel ill at e a s e , n o n p lu s s e d , our of c o u n te n a n c e , e m b a r ra s s e d , e x p e r ie n c ­ in g th e kind of an o m ie th a t i s g e n e ra te d w hen th e m inute social s y s t e m o f f a c e - to - f a c e in te r a c tio n b r e a k s down. In s t r e s s i n g t h e fact th a t th e in it ia l d e fin itio n of the s i t ­ u a tio n p r o je c te d by a n in d iv id u al t e n d s to p ro v id e a p la n for th e c o - o p e ra tiv e a c tiv i ty th a t f o llo w s —in s t r e s s i n g t h i s a c tio n po in t o f v ie w —we m u st n o t overlook th e c r u c ia l fac t th a t any pro­ j e c t e d d e f in itio n o f th e s i t u a ti o n a l s o h a s a d i s t i n c t i v e moral c h a r a c t e r . It i s t h i s moral c h a r a c t e r of p r o je c tio n s t h a t will c h i e f ly c o n c e r n u s in t h i s report. S o cie ty is o r g a n iz e d on th e p r in c i p le th a t any in d iv id u a l who p o s s e s s e s c e r ta in s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s h a s a moral right to e x p e c t th a t o t h e r s will v a l u e a n d tr e a t him in a co rre sp o n d in g ly a p p r o p r ia te way. C o n n e c te d with t h i s p r in c ip le i s a se c o n d , nam ely th a t an indi­ v id u a l who im p lic itly .o r e x p l ic i tly s i g n i f i e s th a t he h a s c e r ta in s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ought to h a v e th is claim honoured by o t h e r s a n d o u g h t in f a c t t o be w hat h e c l a i m s h e is. In c o n ­ s e q u e n c e , when a n in d iv id u al p r o j e c t s a d e f in itio n of th e s i t ­ u a tio n and th e re b y m a k e s an im p licit or e x p l ic i t claim to be a p e r s o n of a p a r ti c u la r kind, he a u t o m a tic a lly e x e r t s a moral dem and upon th e o th e rs , o b lig i n g them to v a l u e and tr e a t him in t h e m anner th a t p e r s o n s of h i s kind h a v e a right to e x p e c t. H e a l s o im p lic itly fo rg o e s all c l a im s to b e th in g s h e d o e s not a p p e a r to b e 2 and h e n c e fo rg o e s th e treatm ent th a t would be 1 H arold T a x e l , 'A u th o r ity S tru c tu re in a Mental H o s p it a l Ward’, U n p u b lish e d M a s t e r ’ s t h e s i s , D ep artm en t o f S ociolo gy , U n iv e r sity o f C h i c a g o , 19532 T h i a r o l e o f th e w i t n e s s in l im itin g what i t i s th e i n d i v i d u a l c a n b e h a s b e e n s t r e s s e d by E x i s t e n t i a l i s t s , who s e e ic a s a b a s i c th r e a t ro i n d iv id u a l fre edom . S e e J e a n - P a u l S artre ; L ’e tr e e t le n e a n t ( P a r i s : Gallim ard, 1948), p. 319 ff.

6

ap p r o p r ia te for s u c h in d i v i d u a l s TKv. o t h e r s find, t h e n , c h i t th e in d iv i d u a l h a s inform ed them a s to whac i s and a s to what ^hey ought to s e e a s t h e ' i s ’. We c a n n o t ju d g e th e im p o rta n c e of d e f in itio n a l d is r u p tio n s by th e fre. 35. 3 Sir l-'redcrick P o n s o n b y , D utton, 1952), p. 46.

R e c o lle c tio n s

8

o f T h ree

R e ie n s

(N ew York:

p la y e d through on o th e r o c c a s i o n s may be c a l l e d a ' p a r t ’ or ‘ r o u t i n e ’. 1 T h e s e s i t u a ti o n a l te rm s c a n e a s i l y be r e l a t e d to c o n v e n tio n a l s tr u c t u ra l o n e s . When an in d iv id u al or perform er p l a y s th e s a m e part to t h e s a m e a u d i e n c e o n d iffe ren t o c c a s ­ io n s , -a s o c ia l r e l a t i o n s h i p i s l ik e ly to a r i s e . D efining s o c ia l ro le a s t h e e n a c tm e n t o f r ig h ts and d u t i e s a t ta c h e d to a given s t a t u s , 'We ca n sa y th a t a s o c i a l role will in v o lv e one or more p a r t s and th a t e a c h o f t h e s e diffe ren t p a r t s may be p r e s e n t e d by th e perform er on a s e r i e s o f o c c a s i o n s to th e s a m e k i n d s of a u d i e n c e or to an a u d i e n c e o f th e s a m e p e r s o n s . 1 F o r c o m m e n ts on t h e i m p o rta n c e of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g b e t w e e n a ro u tin e o f i n t e r a c t i o n and any p a r t i c u l a r i n s t a n c e when t h i s r o u tin e i s p l a y e d through, s e e J o h n von Neu m an n a n d O s k a r M o rgenstern, T he T h eo ry o f G am es ana E c o n o m ic B e h a v io u r (2nd e d . ; P .- i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1947), p. 49.

CHAPTER I

PER F O R M A N C ES Belief in the Part One is Playing When a n in d ividu al p l a y s a part h e im p lic itly r e q u e s t s h is o b s e r v e r s to ta k e s e r io u s ly th e im p r e s s io n that i s fo ste r e d before them . T h e y a r e a s k e d to b e l ie v e th a t th e c h a r a c t e r they s e e a c t u a l l y p o s s e s s e s th e a t t r i b u t e s h e a p p e a r s to p o s s e s s , th a t the t a s k h e perform s will h a v e th e c o n s e q u e n c e s th a t a re im p lic itly c l a im e d for it, a n d tha t, in g e n e r a l, m a tte rs are w hat th e y a p p e a r to be. In lin e with t h is , th e re i s the p o p u la r view that the in d iv id ual o f fe rs h is p erfo rm an ce an d p u t s on h is show ' for the b e n e fit of o th e r people.' It will be c o n v e n ie n t to begin a c o n s id e r a tio n of p e r f o rm a n c e s by turning t h e q u e s tio n aroun d and lo oking a t the in d iv id u a l’s own b e lie f in th e im p re ssio n of r e a l i t y th a t he a t te m p ts to e n g e n d e r in th o s e am ong whom h e f in d s h im self. At one extrem e, ■we find th a t th e perform er c a n be fully taken in by h i s own a c t ; he c a n be s in c e r e l y c o n v in c e d th a t th e im p re ssio n o f r e a l i t y which h e s ta g e s i s th e real r e a lity . When h i s a u d i e n c e i s a l s o c o n v in c e d in t h i s way a bo ut th e show he p u t s o n —a n d t h i s s e e m s to be the ty p ic a l c a s e —then for the moment, anyw ay, only th e s o c i o l o g i s t o r t h e s o c i a l l y d is ­ g ru n tle d will h a v e a n y d o u b ts abo u t th e ' r e a l n e s s ’ of what i s p r e s e n te d . At the oth e r ex tre m e, we find th a t th e performer may n o t be ta k e n in a t all by h is own ro utine. T h i s p o s s i b i l i t y i s under­ s t a n d a b l e , s i n c e no o n e i s in q u ite a s good an o b s e rv a tio n a l p o s itio n to s e e through the a c t a s th e p erso n who p u ts it on. C o u p led with th i s , th e perform er may be moved to .guide the co n v ic tio n of h i s a u d i e n c e only a s a m e a n s to o th e r e n d s , ha v in g no u ltim ate co n c ern in th e c o n c e p t io n th a t th e y hav e of him o r of th e s it u a ti o n . When the ind iv id u al h a s no b e lie f in h i s own a c t a n d no u ltim a te concern with th e b e l ie f s o f h i s a u d i e n c e , we may ca ll him c y n ic a l, r e s e r v i n g th e term s i n c e r e for i n d iv i d u a ls who b e lie v e in th e im p r e s s io n f o s te r e d by th e ir own perform ance. It shou ld be u n d e rsto o d th a t th e c y n ic , with a ll h i s p r o f e s s io n a l d isin v o lv e m e n t, may o b ta in u n p r o fe s s io n a l p l e a s u r e s from his m a sq u e ra d e , e x p e r ie n c in g a kind of gleeful s p ir itu a l a g g r e s s io n from th e fac t that h e c a n toy a t will with som ething h i s a u d i e n c e m ust ta k e s e r i o u s l y . 1 ’ P e r h a p s the real cr im e of th e c o n f i d e n c e man i s n o t th at he t a k e s money from h i s v i c t i m s buc chat he r o b s all of u s o f the b e lie f chat m i d d l e - c l a s s m a n n e r s an d a p p e a r a n c e c a n be s u s t a i n e d o n ly by m i d d l e - c l a s s p e o p l e . A

10

It i s not a s s u m e d , of c o u r s e , th a t all c y n i c a l perform ers a re i n t e r e s t e d in d e lu d in g th e ir a u d i e n c e s for p u r p o s e s of what i s c a l l e d ' s e l f - i n t e r e s t ' o r p r iv a t e gain. A c y n i c a l in d ividual may d elu d e h i s a u d i e n c e for what he c o n s i d e r s to be th e ir own good, or for the good o f the com munity, e t c . F o r i l l u s t r a t i o n s of th is we n e e d not a p p e al to s a d ly e n l ig h te n e d showmen s u c h a s M arcus A u re liu s or H sun T z u . We know that in s e r v i c e o c c u ­ p a t io n s p r a c t i t i o n e r s who may o th e rw is e be s in c e r e are s o m e ­ tim e s forced to d elu d e th e ir c u s t o m e r s b e c a u s e th e ir c u s to m e r s show s u c h a h e a r tf e lt dem and for it. D o c to r s who are led into giving p l a c e b o s , f illi n g - s t a tio n a t t e n d a n t s who r e s ig n e d ly c h e c k and r e c h e c k tire p r e s s u r e s for a n x i o u s women m o to r is t s , sh o e c l e r k s who s e ll a sh o e th a t fits but t e l l the cu s to m e r it i s th e s i z e s h e w a n ts to h e a r —t h e s e a r e c y n i c a l perform ers w hose a u d i e n c e s will not a llow them to be s in c e r e . Similarly, we find th a t s y m p a th e tic p a t i e n t s in m ental w ards will s o m e tim e s feign b iz a r re sym ptom s so th a t s tu d e n t n u r s e s will not be s u b je c t e d to a d is a p p o in ti n g ly s a n e perform ance. 1 So a ls o , when infer­ i o r s e x ten d th e ir most la v is h r e c e p tio n for v i s i tin g s u p e rio r s , th e s e l f i s h d e s i r e to win favour may not be the c h i e f m o tiv e; the inferio r may be ta c tf u lly attem p tin g to put the su p e rio r at e a s e by s im u la tin g the kind of world the s u p e r io r i s thought to ta k e for gran ted. I hav e s u g g e s te d two e x t r e m e s : an in d iv id u a l may be taken in by h i s own a c t or be c y n i c a l abo u t it. T h e s e e x tre m e s are so m e th in g a l i t t l e more th a n ju s t the e n d s of a continuum . E ach p r o v id e s the in d iv id u a l with a p o s itio n which h a s i t s own par­ tic u la r s e c u r i t i e s and d e f e n c e s , s o th e re will be a te n d e n c y for th o s e who have tr a v e lle d c l o s e to o n e of t h e s e p o l e s to com­ p le te the voyage. S tartin g with la c k of inward b e lie f in o n e ’s role, th e in d iv id u a l may follow the natural movement d e s c r ib e d by P a r k : It i s probably no mere h i s t o r i c a l a c c i d e n t t h a t the word p e r s o n , in i t s f i rs t m e a n in g , ts a m a s k . It i s r a t h e r a r e c o g n i t i o n of th e f a c t t h a t d i s a b u s e d p r o f e s s i o n a l c a n be c y n i c a l l y h o s t i l e 10 t h e s e r v i c e r e l a t i o n h i s c l i e n t s e x p e c t him to e x t e n d to t h e m ; the c o n f id e n c e man is in a p o sitio n to hol d the whole 1 le g i t * world in t h i s co ntem pt. ' S e e L'dxel, op. c i t ., p. 4. Marry S t a c k Sullivan h a s s u g g e s t e d t h a t th e t a c t of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d p er fo r m er s c a n o p e r a t e in th e ocher d i r e c t i o n , r e s u l t i n g in a kind of n o b le s s c ^ o b lig e s a n i ty . bee h i s ‘ S o c i o - P s y c h i a t r i c Research A m e ric a n Jo u rn a l o f P s y c h ia tr y , X, pp. 987*988. M A study of ’ .social r e c o v e r i e s 1 in o n e of our large m en tal h o s p i t a l s so m e y e a r s a g o caught me t h a t p a t i e n t s were often r e l e a s e d from c a r e b e c a u s e they had l earn ed noc to m a n i f e s t sym ptom s t o the e n v i r o n i n g p e r s o n s ; in o th er words, had i n t e g r a t e d en ou g h of the p e r s o n a l e n v iro nm en t to r e a l i z e the p r e j u d i c e o p p o s e d to th e i r d e l u s i o n s . It s e e m e d a l m o s t a s i f they grew w is e en o u g h t o be t o l e r a n t of th e tm b eciliry su rro u n d in g them, hav in g fin ally d i s c o v e r e d t h a t it was s t u p i d i t y and not m a lic e . T h e y c o u l d then s e c u r e s a t i s f a c t i o n from c o n t a c t with o t h e r s , while d i s c h a r g i n g a p ar t of th e i r c r a v i n g s by p s y c h o t i c m ean s .

11

e v e r y o n e i s a l w a y s a nd e v e r y w h e r e , more or l e s s c o n s c i o u s l y , p l a y i n g a role . . . I t i s in t h e s e r o l e s t h a t w e know e a c h o t h e r ; it i s in t h e s e r o l e s th a t w e k n ow o u r s e l v e s . 1 In a s e n s e , a n d in s o Jar a s t h i s m a s k r e p r e s e n t s the c o n c e p t i o n we h a v e formed of o u r s e l v e s —t h e r o l e we are s t r i v i n g t o live up t o —tli i s m a s k i s o u r truer s e l f , the s e l f we would l i k e to be. In t h e end, our co n c e p t i o n of our r o l e b e c o m e s s e c o n d n a tu r e an d a n in t e g r a l p a r t of our personality. co m e i n t o t h e world a s i n d i v i d u a l s , a c h i e v e c h a r a c t e r , and become p e r s o n s .2

T h i s may be illu s c r a te d from t h e w riter’ s stu d y of an is l a n d com m unity o f c r o f t e r s , th a t i s , s m a ll- h o ld in g farm ers. 3 F o r t h e l a s t four or five y e a r s th e i s l a n d ' s to u r is t ho te l h a s bee n o w ned an d o p e r a te d by a m arried c o u p le of c ro f te r o r ig in s . From th e beginning , th e o w n e r s w ere forced to s e t a s i d e th e ir own c o n ­ c e p t i o n s a s to how lif e ought to be led, d is p l a y in g in th e hotel a full round of m i d d l e - c l a s s s e r v i c e s and a m e n i t i e s . L a t e l y , how eve r, it a p p e a r s th a t the m a n a g e rs h a v e b ec o m e l e s s c y n ­ ic a l a b o u t th e perform ance th a t they s t a g e ; they t h e m s e l v e s a r e becom ing m iddle c l a s s an d more and more ena m o u red of th e s e l v e s th e ir c l i e n t s impuce to them. Another il l u s t r a t i o n may be found in th e raw re c ru it who in it ia l ly fo llo w s army e t iq u e t te in o rd e r to a v oid p h y s ic a l punish m en t and who e v e n tu a lly co m es to follow th e r u l e s s o th a t h is o r g a n iz a tio n will not be sh a m e d and h i s o f f i c e r s a n d f e ll o w - s o ld i e r s will r e s p e c t him. A s s u g g e s t e d , th e c y c l e of d i s b e lie f - to - b e l ie f c a n be fo ll­ owed in the o th e r d ir e c tio n , s t a r t i n g with c o n v ic tio n or i n s e c u r e a s p ir a tio n and e n d in g in c y n ic is m . P r o f e s s i o n s w hich the p u b lic h o ld s in r e l i g i o u s aw e often allow th e ir r e c r u i t s to follow th e c y c l e in t h i s d ir e c tio n , anti o fte n r e c r u i t s follow it in t h i s d ir e c tio n not b e c a u s e of a slo w r e a l i z a t i o n that th e y are d e lu d in g th e ir a u d i e n c e —for by ordinary s o c i a l s t a n d a r d s th e c l a i m s th e y m ake may be q u ite v a l id —but b e c a u s e they c a n u s e t h is c y n i c is m a s a m e a n s of i n s u l a ti n g th e ir in ner s e l v e s from c o n t a c t with th e a u d i e n c e . ■ And we may e v e n e x p e c t to find t y p ic a l c a r e e r s o f faith , w ith the in d iv id u a l s t a r t i n g out with o n e kind of in v o lv e m e n t in the p erform an ce he i s r e q u ir e d to giv e , then moving bac k and forth s e v e r a l tim e s b etw e en s i n c e r ­ ity an d c y n i c is m before c o m p le tin g all th e p h a s e s an d turningp o in ts of s e l f - b e l i e f for a p e r s o n of h is s ta tio n . While we c a n e x p e c t to find n a tu ra l movement bac k and forth b e tw e e n c y n i c is m a n d s in c e r ity , s t i l l we m ust n o t r u le out t h e k in d o f t r a n s i t i o n a l p o in ts th a t can b e s u s t a i n e d , on th e l R o b e r t E z ra P a r k , R a c e a n d C u ltu re ( G l e n c o e . | l l l . : p. 249.

T h e F r e e P r e s s , 1950),

3 H i d . , p . 2 50. 3 T h e s t u d y w a s f in a n c e d by t h e D e p a r tm e n t of S o c i a l Anthropology And t h e S o c i a l S c i e n c e s R e s e a r c h Com m ittee of the U n iv e r sity of Kdinburgh a n d re p o rt e d i o p a r t in Goffm an, o p . c it.

12

stre n g th o f a l i t t l e s e lf - il lu s io n . We find th a t the in d iv id u a l may a tte m p t to in d u c e th e a u d ie n c e to judge him and th e s i t ­ u a tio n in a p a r ti c u la r way, and h e may s e e k t h i s judg e m en t a s an u ltim a te en d in i t s e l f , and yet he may not c o m p le te ly b e l i e v e th a t he d e s e r v e s th e v a lu a tio n of s e lf which he a s k s for or that th e im p r e s s io n of r e a lity which he f o s t e r s i s v a lid . Another m ixture of c y n i c is m an d b e l ie f is s u g g e s t e d in K ro e b er’s d i s ­ cussion of sham anism : N e x t , t h e r e i s the o ld q u e s tio n of d e ceptio n« P ro b a b l y m o s t s h a m a n s or m e d i c i n e men, the world over , h e l p a l o n g with sl e ig h t - o f - h a n d in cu rin g an d e s p e c i a l l y in e x h i b i t i o n s o f p o w er. T h i s s l e ig h t - o f -h a n d is s o m e ­ ti m e s d e l i b e r a t e ; in many c a s e s a w a r e n e s s i s p e r h a p s no t d e e p e r chan the f o r e c o n s c i o u s . T h e a t t i t u d e , w h e th e r th e r e h a s b een r e p r e s s i o n or n ot, s e e m s to b e a s to w ard a p i o u s frau d. F i e l d e t h n o g r a p h e r s seem q u i t e g e n e r a l l y c o n v i n c e d th at ev en s h a m a n s who know t h a t they add fraud n e v e r t h e l e s s a l s o b e l i e v e in th eir p o w e r s , an d e s p e c i a l l y in t h o s e o f o t h e r s h a m a n s : they c o n s u l t them whet! th ey t h e m s e l v e s or theLr c h i l d r e n a r e il l . 1

Front We h a v e bee n u s in g the term ' p e r f o r m a n c e ' to refer to all t h e a c tiv i ty of an in d iv i d u a l which o c c u r s during a period marked by h i s c o n t in u o u s p r e s e n c e before a p a r ti c u la r s e t of o b s e r v e r s a n d w hich h a s so m e in flu e n c e on the o b s e r v e r s . It will be c o n v e n ie n t to la b el a s ' f r o n t ’ th a t part of the in d iv id ­ u a l ’s perfo rm an ce which re g u la rly f u n c ti o n s in a general and fixed fash io n to d e fin e th e s i t u a t i o n for t h o s e who o b s e r v e the perform ance. F ro n t, th e n , i s th e e x p r e s s i v e e quipm ent of a s ta n d a r d kind i n t e n t io n a lly or unw ittin g ly em ployed by the ind iv id u al during h is perform ance. F or p relim in ary p u r p o s e s , it v.ill be c o n v e n ie n t to d i s t i n g u i s h and la b e l what s e e m to be the sta n d aril p a r t s of front. F i r s t , th e re is th e ' s e t t i n g ’, in v o lv in g furniture, decor, p h y s ic a l lay-out, and o th e r backgroun d ite m s w hich su p p ly th e s c e n e r y and s t a g e p r o p s for th e s p a t e of human a c tio n p la y ed out before, w ithin, or upon it. A s e ttin g t e n d s to s ta y put, g e o g r a p h ic a lly s p e a k in g , so th a t th o s e who would u s e a par­ tic u la r s e t t i n g a s p a rt of th e ir perform ance c a n n o t b eg in th e ir a c t until they have brought t h e m s e lv e s to the ap p ro p ria te p l a c e and must te rm in a te th e ir p erform ance when th e y le a v e it. It i s only in e x c e p t io n a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s that the s e t t i n g , in a s e n s e , fo llo w s a lo n g with the p e r f o rm e r s ; we s e e th is in th e fu n eral c o rte g e, the c i v i c p a r a d e , and th e d ream -like p r o c e s s i o n s that" k in g s an d q u e e n s are made of. In th e main, t h e s e e x c e p t i o n s seem to offer so m e kind of ex tra p ro te c tio n for p erform ers who ; A . I .. K ro c b e r , T h e feature o f C u ltu re ( C h i c a g o : P r e s s , l l)^2), p. 3 N .

13

U n iv e r sity o f C h i c a g o

are , or who h a v e m om entarily b ec o m e , highly s a c r e d . I hese w o rth ie s are to be d is t in g u is h e d , of c o u r s e , from quite profane perform ers o f the p e d d le r c l a s s who move th e ir pl;ice of work b e tw e e n p e r f o rm a n c e s, o ften b eing forced to do so. In th e m a tte r of h avin g on e fix ed p la c e for o n e ' s s e t t i n g , a ru ler may be too s a c r e d , a p e d d le r too p rofa ne. In th in k in g about th e s c e n i c a s p e c t s of front, we te n d to think of the liv i n g room in a p a r t i c u l a r h o u s e and th e small number of p erform ers who ca n thoroughly id e n tify t h e m s e l v e s with it. We h ave g iv e n in s u f f ic i e n t a t te n t io n to a s s e m b l a g e s of of s ig n - e q u ip m e n t w hich larg e n u m b e rs of perform ers c a n ca ll th e ir own for s h o rt p e r io d s of tim e. It i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Western E u ro p e a n c o u n t r i e s , and no doubt a s o u r c e o f s t a b i l i t y f o r ^ , 1" th a t a la rg e num ber of lu x u r io u s s e t t i n g s a r e a v a i l a b l e for hire to a n y o n e of th e right kind who can afford them. One i ll u s tr a ti o n of t h is may be c i te d from a stu d y of the h ig h e r c iv il s e rv a n t in B r ita in : T h e q u e s t io n liow far the men who r i s e t o the top in the C i v i l S e r v ic e t a k e on t h e ' t o n e * or ' c o l o u r * of a c l a s s other than t h a t to w h i c h they b e l o n g by birth is d e l i c a t e a nd d if fic u lt. T h e only d e f i n i te inf ormation b e a r in g on th e q u e s t i o n i s th e f i g u r e s re l a t i n g to th e m em b ersh ip of the g r e a t London c l u b s . More than t h r e e - q u a r t e r s of our high a d m i n i s t r a t i v e o f f i c i a l s b elo n g to one or more c l u b s of high s t a t u s an d c o n s i d e r a b l e Luxury, where the e n t r a n c e fee might be tw en ty g u i n e a s or more, a n d rhe an n ual s u b s c r i p t io n from t w elv e to tw en ty g u i n e a s . T h e s e i n s t i t u t i o n s a r e of t h e u p p e r c l a s s (not ev en of t h e upp er-m idd le) in th e i r p r e m i s e s , th e i r equ ip m en t, t h e s t y l e of livin g p r a c t i s e d t h ere, their whole a t ­ m osphere. Tho ug h many of the m em b er s would not be d e s c r i b e d a s w e a l t h y , onl y a w ealth y man would u n a i d e d pro vid e for h i m s e l f a nd h is f am ily s p a c e , food an d d rin k, s e r v i c e , and o ther a m e n i t i e s of life to the s a m e s t a n d a rd a s h e will find at t h e Uruon, the T r a v e l l e r s ’, or th e Reform. 1

A n o th er e x a m p le c a n be found in th e re c e n t d evelopm ent of th e m e d ic a l p r o f e s s io n w here we find th a t it i s i n c r e a s i n g ly im­ p o rta n t for a doctor to h a v e a c c e s s to the e l a b o r a t e s c i e n t i f i c s t a g e p rovided by la rg e h o s p i t a l s , so th a t few er an d few er d o c t o r s are a b le to feel th a t th e ir s e t t i n g i s a p l a c e th a t they c a n lock up at night. 2 If we ta k e th e term ' s e t t i n g ’ to refer to th e s c e n i c p a r t s ol e x p r e s s i v e eq uipm ent, -we may ta k e th e term ' p e r s o n a l f r o n t ’ to refer to the oth e r ite m s of e x p r e s s i v e e q u ip m en t, th e ite m s th a t we most in tim a te ly id e n tify with th e perform er him s elf and th at we n a t u r a lly e x p e c t will follow t h e perform er w herever he g o e s . As part of p e r s o n a l front we may i n c l u d e : in s ig n ia of o ffic e or r a n k ; c l o t h i n g ; s e x , age, and r a c ia l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ; s i z e and l o o k s ; p o s t u r e ; s p e e c h p a t t e r n s ; f a c ia l e x p r e s s i o n s ; bodily 1 U . K . D a l e , T k e H igher C iv il S e r v ic e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1941), p. 50.

o f G reat ftrita in (O x fo r d : Oxford

2 D a v id Solomon, ' C a r e e r C o n t i n g e n c i e s ol C h ic a g o P h y s i c i a n s ' (U npub­ l i s h e d P h . IX d i s s e r t a t i o n , D e p a r tm e n t ol S o cio lo gy , U n iv e r sity of C h i c a a o . 1952). p. 74.

14

g e s t u r e s ; an 1 the lik e . Some of t h e s e v e h i c le s for c o n v e y in g s i g n s , su c h a s r a c ia l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , are r e l a t i v e l y fixed and over a spa n of tim e Jo not vary for th e ind iv id u al from o n e s itu a tio n to another. On t h e orhcr hand, s o m e of t h e s e sig n v e h i c l e s are r e la tiv e ly m obile or tr a n s ito r y , su c h a s facial e x p - e s s io n , an 1 ca n vary .luring a perform ance from one moment to th e next. It i s so m e tim e s c o n v e n ie n t to d iv id e th e stimuli which make up p e r so n a l front into ' a p p e a r a n c e ’ and ’ m a n n e r ’, a c c o rd in g to th e function perform ed by the inform ation that t h e s e stim uli convey. ' A p p e a r a n c e ’ may be ta k e n to refer to t h o s e stim uli which function at th e tim e to tell u s of th e perform er’s s o c ia l s t a t u s e s . T h e s e stimuli also te ll u s o f th e i n d i v i d u a l 's tem porary ritu a l s t a t e , th a t i s , w hether he i s e n g a g in g in formal s o c ia l a c tiv i ty , work, or informal re c re a tio n , w h eth e r or not he is c e le b r a tin g a new p h a s e in the s e a s o n c y c le or in h is lif e -c y c le . ' M a n n e r ' may be ta k e n to refer to th o s e stim uli w hich fu n ction at the tim e to warn u s of th e inter­ a c tio n ro le th e performer will e x p e c t to play in th e on-coming s it u a ti o n . T h u s a haughty a g g r e s s i v e manner may give th e im p r e s s io n th a t the perform er e x p e c t s to be the one who will i n i t i a t e th e verbal in te r a c tio n and d ir e c t i t s c o u r s e . A meek, a p o lo g e tic manner may give th e im p re ssio n th a t the perform er e x p e c t s to follow the le a d of o th e r s , or at l e a s t th a t he can 1>e g o tte n to do so. Sim ilarly, if an ind iv id u al i s angry h is manner will te ll u s upon whom he i s lik e ly to be in a p o s itio n to vent h i s anger. We o fte n e x p e c t , of c o u r s e , a c o n firm ing c o n s i s t e n c y be­ tw e e n a p p e a r a n c e and m a n n er; we e x p e c t th a t th e d if f e r e n c e s in s o c i a l s t a t u s e s among th e i o t e r a c t a n t s will be e x p r e s s e d in s o m e way by c o ng ru e nt d if f e r e n c e s in th e in d i c a t i o n s that a r e m ade of e x p e c t e d in te r a c tio n role. T h i s ty pe of co h e re n c e of front may be ill u s tr a te d by the follow ing d e s c r ip tio n o f th e p r o c e s s io n of a m andarin through a C h i n e s e c i ty : Co m ing c l o s e l y behind . . . the l u x u r io u s c h a i r o f the man darin, c a r r ie d by e i g h t b e a r e r s , f i ll s the v a c a n t s p a c e in the s t r e e t . Me is mayor of the town, and for a l l p r a c t i c a l p u r p o s e s die s u p r e m e p o w e r in it. lie is an i d e a l- lo o k in g o f ficial, for he is large a n d m a s s i v e in a p p e a r ­ a n c e , w h i l s t he h a s th at ste rn a n d u nco m p risin g look th at is s u p p o s e d to be n e c e s s a r y in any m a g i s t r a t e who wou ld hop e t o k eep h is s u b j e c t s in o rder, lie lias a s t e m and forb idding a s p e c t , as though h e w ere on h is way t o the e x e c u t i o n ground t o h a v e som e crim in al d e c a p i t a t e d . T h i s i s t h e k in d of air t h a t the m an d arin s p u t on when th ey a p p e a r in p u b l i c . In t h e c o u r s e of many y e a r s ' e x p e r i e n c e . 1 h ave n e v e r o n ce s e e n a ny of them , from the h i g h e s t to the l o w e s t , w ith a sm ile on h i s fa cc or a look of sy m p a th y for the p e o p l e w h i l s t he w a s b e in g c a r r ic d o f fic ia lly through the s t r e e t s . 1

b u t , of c o u r s e , a p p e a r a n c e and m anner may tend to c o n tra d ic t e a c h o th e r, a s when a perform er who a p p e a r s to be of h ig h e r 1J . Macgowart, S id e lig h ts on C h in e s e L i fe ( P h i l a d e l p h i a : L ip pincoct, 1908), p. 187.

15

e s t a t e than h i s a u d i e n c e a c t s in a m anner th a t i s u n e x p e c te d ly e q u a lit a r ia n , or in tim a te , or a p o l o g e t i c , or when a perform er d r e s s e d in th e g arm e n ts o f a high p o s it io n p r e s e n t s h im s e lf to an in d iv id u al of ev e n higher s t a t u s . In a d d itio n to th e e x p e c te d c o n s i s t e n c y b e tw e en a p p e a r ­ a n c e and manner, we e x p e c t, of c o u r s e , so m e c o h e r e n c e among s e ttin g , a p p e a r a n c e , and manner. 1 In a s e n s e , s u c h c o h e r e n c e r e p r e s e n t s an id e al type th a t p r o v id e s u s w ith a m e a n s of s tim ­ u la tin g our i n t e r e s t in and a t te n t io n to e x c e p t i o n s . In th is th e stu d e n t i s a s s i s t e d by th e jo u r n a l is t, for e x c e p t io n s to e x p e c ­ ted c o n s i s t e n c y am ong s e ttin g , a p p e a r a n c e , .and manner p ro v id e the p iq u a n c y and glamour of many c a r e e r s and th e s a l e a b l e a p p e a l of many m a g a z in e a r t i c l e s . 2 In o rd e r to ex p lo re more fully the r e l a t i o n s am ong the s e v e r ­ al p a r t s of s o c ia l front, it will be c o n v e n ie n t to c o n s id e r here a s i g n i f i c a n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the inform ation c o n v e y e d by front, nam ely, i t s a b s t r a c t n e s s and g e n e r a lity . H o w ev er s p e c i a l i z e d and u niq ue a r o u tin e i s , i t s s o c ia l front, with c e r ta in e x c e p t io n s , will te n d to claim f a c t s th a t can be e q u a lly claim ed and a s s e r t e d of o th e r, som ew hat d ifferent r o u tin e s . ; F o r exa m ple , many s e r v i c e o c c u p a t i o n s offer th e ir c l i e n t s a p erfo rm an ce that i s illu m in a te d with dram a tic ex­ p r e s s i o n s of c l e a n l i n e s s , m odernity, c o m p e te n c e , in te g r ity , e tc . While in f a c t t h e s e a b s t r a c t s t a n d a r d s h a v e a different s ig n i f i ­ c a n c e in d iffe re n t o c c u p a t io n a l p e rfo rm a n c e s, the o b s e rv e r i s en c o u r a g e d to s t r e s s the a b s t r a c t s im ila r it ie s . F o r the o b s e rv e r t h is i s a w onderful, chough s o m e tim e s d i s a s t r o u s , c o n v e n i e n c e . I n s te a d o f h a v in g to m a in ta in a d iffe re n t p a tte r n of e x p e c ta tio n an d r e s p o n s i v e tr e a tm e n t for e a c h s li g h tly d iffe re n t perform er and p erform ance , he c a n p la c e the s i t u a ti o n in to a broad c a t ­ egory aro und which it i s e a s y for him to m o b iliz e h is p a s t ex­ p e r ie n c e and s te r e o - ty p ic a l think ing. O b s e r v e r s then n e e d only be f a m ilia r with a sm a ll and h e n c e m a n a g e a b le v oca bula ry of f r o n ts and know how to resp o n d to them in order to o rie n t them­ s e l v e s in a wide v a r ie ty of s i t u a t i o n s . T h u s in L ond on th e cu rren t te n d e n c y for chim ney s w e e p s 3 an d perfume c l e r k s to w ear w hite l a b c o a t s t e n d s to provide th e c l ie n t with an u nd er­ s ta n d i n g th a t th e d e l i c a t e t a s k s perform ed by t h e s e p e r s o n s 1 C l. Kenneth B u r k e 's c o m m e n t s on t h e ' s c e n e - a c t - a g e n t r a t i o ’, A Grammar o f M o tiv es (N ew York: P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1945) pp. 6-9. ^ F o r ex am p le, th e N e w Y o rke r P r o f i l e on R o g e r S t e v e n s (the r e a l e s t a t e a g e n t who e n g i n e e r e d the s a l e of the E m p ire S t a t e B u ildin g ) com m en ts on the s t a r t l i n g fact t h a t S t e v e n s h a s a sm a ll h o u s e , a m eag re o f f i c e , a nd n o l e t t e r h e a d s t a t i o n e r y . S ee E. J . K a h n , J r . , ' C l o s i n g s and O p e n i n g s ' , T h e N e w Y o rke r, F e b r u a ry 13 an d 20, 1954. 3 S e c Mervyn J o n e s , 'W h i t e a s a S w e e p ' , T h e N e w S ta te s m a n a n d N a tio n , D ece m b e r 6, 1952.

16

will be perform ed in what h a s becom e a s ta n d a r d iz e d , c l i n i c a l , c o n f id e n tia l manner. T h e r e a r e g ro u n d s for b e lie v in g th a t the te n d en c y for a l a r g e number of d if fe re n t a c t s to be p r e s e n te d from b eh in d a sm all number of f ro n ts i s a n a tu ra l dev e lo p m e n t in s o c ia l o r ­ g a n iz a tio n . K adcliffe-H row n h a s s u g g e s t e d t h i s in h is claim th a t a d e s c r i p t i v e k in s h ip s y s te m w hich g i v e s e a c h p e rso n a u n iq u e p l a c e may work for very small c o m m u n itie s, but, a s the num ber o f p e r s o n s b e c o m e s la rg e , clan s e g m e n ta tio n b ec o m e s n e c e s s a r y a s a m e a n s of providing a l e s s c o m p lic a te d system of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s and tr e a tm e n ts . 1 We s e e t h i s te n d e n c y i l l u s ­ tr a te d in f a c t o r i e s , b a r r a c k s, and other l a r g e s o c ia l e s t a b l i s h ­ m e n ts. T h o s e who o r g a n iz e t h e s e e s t a b l i s h m e n t s find it im­ p o s s i b l e to p ro v id e a s p e c ia l c a f e te ria , s p e c i a l m o d e s of p a y ­ ment, s p e c i a l v a c a tio n rig h ts , and s p e c i a l s a n ita r y f a c i l i t i e s for evc-ry lin e and s t a f f s t a t u s c a te g o ry in th e o r g a n iz a tio n , and at the sa m e tim e they feel th a t p e r s o n s o f d i s s i m i l a r s t a t u s ought not to be in d is c r im in a te ly thrown to g e th e r or c l a s s i f i e d to g e th e r. As a com prom ise, th e full ran g e of d iv e rs ity is cut at a few crucial p o in ts , and all t h o s e w ithin a given brac ket are allo w ed or o b lig e d to m a in ta in the sam e s o c ia l front in ce r ta in s it u a t i o n s . In a d d itio n to th e fact t h a t d iffe ren t r o u tin e s may em ploy the s a m e front, it i s to be noted th at a g iv e n s o c ia l front te n d s to bec om e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d in te rm s of t h e a b s t r a c t s t e r e o t y p e d e x p e c t a t i o n s to which it g iv e s r i s e , and te n d s to t a k e on a m eaning and s t a b i l i t y ap art from the s p e c i f i c t a s k s which h a p p e n at the tim e to be performed in i t s nam e. T h e front b e c o m e s a ' c o l l e c t i v e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n ’ and a fa c t in i t s own right. When an a c t o r t a k e s on an e s t a b l i s h e d s o c ia l role, u s u a lly he fin d s th a t a p a r tic u la r front h a s a lre ad y been e s t a b l i s h e d for it. Whether h is a c q u i s i t i o n of th e role w a s prim arily m otivated by a d e s ir e to perform th e given t a s k or by a d e s ir e to m aintain the co rre sp o n d in g front, th e a c to r will find that he must do both. F u rth e r, if t h e in d iv id u a l t a k e s on a ta sk th a t i s not only new to him but a l s o u n e s t a b l i s h e d in th e s o c i e t y . - o r if he a t te m p ts to c h a n g e the light in which h is ta s k is vie w e d , he i s lik e lv to find th a t th e re are a lre a d y s e v e r a l w e l l - e s t a b l i s h e d fro n ts am ong which he must c h o o s e . T h u s , when a ta s k i s g ive n a new front we seldom find that the front it is g iv e n is i t s e l f new. Since f ro n ts tend ro be s e l e c t e d , not c r e a te d , we may e x p e c t tr o u b le to a r i s e when t h o s e who perform a g iv e n ta s k are forced 1 A. U. Ra dcliffe-ftro wn, O c e a n ia , 1, 440.

’ The

S o c ia l O rg an izatio n

17

of A u s tr a l i a n T r i b e s ’,

to s e l e c t a s u i t a b l e front for t h e m s e l v e s from am ong s e v e r a l q u ite d i s s i m i l a r o n e s . T h u s , in m ilitary o r g a n iz a ti o n s , t a s k s a re a l w a y s d e v e lo p in g w hich (it i s felt) re q u ire too much a uthor­ ity an d s k ill to be c a r rie d out behind th e front m a in ta in e d by o n e g ra d e of p e r s o n n e l an d too l i t t l e a u th o rity an.) s k i ’l to be ca r rie d o u t behind th e front m a in ta in e d by th e ne-'r ;ra.l. c i t . , p J2 .

73

e x p r e s s iv e ly s p e ak in g , and may not be ab le to bring him self into an ap p ro priate p o sitio n for in te ractio n or bring a s o c ia b l e e x p r e s s io n to h is face until som e moments afte r being w akened, th u s providing one ex plan a tio n of the tendency to remove th e bedroom from the a c tiv e part of the house. T h e utility of such s e c lu s io n i s reinforced by the facc that se x u a l ac tiv ity i s lik e ly to o c c u r in bedrooms, a form of in te ra c tio n which a l s o ren d e rs i t s performers in c a p a b le of im m ediately entering into an ocher in te ractio n . One of the most in te r e s tin g tim es to o b se rv e im­ p r e s s io n m anagement is the moment when a performer l e a v e s the back region and e n t e r s the p la ce where the a u d ie n c e is to be found, or when he returns therefrom, for at t h e s e moments we can d e te c t a wonderful putting on an d ta k in g off of ch a ra c te r. Orwell, sp e a k in g of w aiters, and s p e a k in g from the b a c k sta g e point of view of d ish w a sh e rs, p ro v id e s us with an e x a m p l e : 1c is an i n s t r u c t i v e sigh: co s e e a w aiter going into a hotel dining-room. As he p a s s e s the door a su d d e n c h a n g e c o m es o v er him. T h e s e t of h i s s h o u ld e rs a l t e r s ; all the dirt an d hu rry and irritatio n have dropped off in an in s t a n t . He g l i d e s over th e carpec, w ith a solemn p r i e s t - l ik e air. I remember our a s s i s t a n t maitre d*hoielt a fiery Italia n , p a u s i n g a t the dining-room door to a d d r e s s h i s a p p r e n t i c e wh o had broken a b o ttle of wine. S h aking h is fi s t ab o v e h i s head h e y e l l e d (luckily t h e door w as more or l e s s soundproof), ” Tu me f a i s — Do you call y ou rself a waiter, y o u young b a s t a r d ? You a w a ite r l You re not fit to s c ru b floors in ihe brothel your m other cam e from. Mttffuereau! M Words failing him, he turned to th e d o o r ; a n d a s he op en ed it lie d e l i v e r e d a final in s u l t in the s a m e manner a s Squire Uesrc rn in T om J o n e s . Then h e en te r e d the dining-room and sa ile d a c r o s s il dish in hand, graceful a s a swan. T en s e c o n d s loiter he w as bowing rev eren tly to a cu sto m er. And you cou ld not help thinking, a s ^ o u sa w him bow an d sm ile, with th at benign s m ile of the tr a in e d waiter , that rho cu s to m e r was put to sh am e by hav in g su ch an a r i s t o c r a t co s e rv e him. 1

T he d e c lin e of d om estic s e rv ic e lias forced quick c h a n g e s o f the kind m entioned by Orwell upon the m id d l e - c la s s h o u s e ­ wife. In se rv in g a dinner for frie n d s sh e must manage th e k itc h en dirty work in such a way a s to e n a b le her co switch back and forth betw een th e r o le s of d o m e stic and h o s t e s s , a lte r in g her ac tiv ity , her manner, and her temper, a s she 1 George Orwell, Down and Out in P a r i s and L ondon (London.* S eeker a nd Warburg, 1951), pp. 68-69* Another i l lu str a tio n is provided by Moqica D ickens , One Pair o f H ands (Mermaid B o o k s ; L o n d o n : Michael J o s e p h , 1952), p. 13: ’ T h e s a i d m aid—her name w a s Addie, 1 d i s c o v e r e d —and t h e two w a i t r e s s e s were beh av in g like peop le a c t i n g in a p lay. T h ey would s w e e p into the k itch en a s if coming off s t a g e into th e wings, with tray s h eld high an d a t e n s e ex p r e s s i o n of h au teu r s t ill on th eir f a c e s ; relax for a moment in the frenzy of g e ttin g the new d i s h e s lo aded, and glide o f f ag ain with f a c e s p rep ared to make their next e n tr a n c e . T h e cook a n d 1 wer e left like s t a g e han d s among rhe d ebris, a s if h a v i n g .s e e n a glim pse of an o th er world, we alm ost l i s t e n e d for the a p p l a u s e of t h e u n se e n a u d i e n c e . 1

74

p a s s e s in and oiic of the dining room. E tiq u e tte provide helpful d ir e c tio n s for f a c ilita tin g such c h a n g es . T h e lin e dividing front and back regions is ill u s tr a te d everyw here in our s o c ie ty . A s s u g g e ste d , the bathroom and bedroom, in all but lo w e r - c la s s homes, are p l a c e s from which the d o w n s ta irs a u d ie n c e can be excluded. B o d ie s that are c l e a n s e d , clothed, and made up in t h e s e rooms can be pre­ s e n te d to friends in o th e rs. In the kitchen, of co urse , there i s done to food what in the bathroom and bedroom i s done to the human body. It is , in fact, the p r e s e n c e of t h e s e staging d e v i c e s that d is t in g u is h e s m id d le - c la s s liv in g from lowerc l a s s living. But in all c l a s s c s in our s o c iety there i s a tendency to make a d iv ision betw een the front and back p a r ts o f re s id e n tia l exteriors. T h e front te n d s to be rela tiv e ly well decorated, well repaired, and tid y ; the re a r te n d s to be r e la tiv e ly u n p r e p o s s e s s in g . Correspondingly, so c ial a d u l t s en ter through the front, and often the s o c ia lly in c o m p le te— d o m e stic s, delivery men, and c h ild re n —enter through the rear. While we are fam iliar with the sta g e arran g e m en ts in and around a dw elling p la ce , we tend to be l e s s a w a re of other s ta g e arrang em ents. In American r e s id e n tia l neighbourhoods, boys of eight to fourteen and other profane p e rso n s a p p re c ia te that e n tra n c e s to back la n e s and a l l e y s lead somewhere and a r e to be u s e d ; they s e e th e s e op enings in a vivid s e n s e that will be l o s t to them when they become older. Similarly, ja n ito r s and scrubwomen have a c l e a r perception of the small doors th a t lead to the back regions of b u s i n e s s b uildings and are in tim ately familiar wich the profane tran sporta tio n system for se cretly tran sp o rtin g dirty c le a n in g equipment, large s ta g e props, and th e m se lv e s. There is a sim ila r arran ge­ ment in s to r e s , where p la c e s 'b e h in d the c o u n t e r ’ and the storeroom s e rv e a s back reg ions. G iven the v a l u e s of a particular s o c ie ty , it is apparent that the b a c k s ta g e ch a ra c te r of c e rta in p la c e s i s built into them in a material way, and that rela tiv e to a d ja c e n t a r e a s t h e s e p l a c e s are in e sca p ab ly back reg ions. In our soc iety th e d ec o rato r’s art often d o e s th is for us, apportioning dark c olou rs and open brickwork to the s e rv ic e p a r ts of buildings and white p la s te r to the front regions. P i e c e s of fixed equip­ ment add permanency to this division. Employers com plete the harmony by hiring p e rs o n s with undesira b le visual a ttrib u te s for back region work,-1 placing p e rs o n s who ‘ niak? a good a p p e a r a n c e ’ in the front region s. ( T h i s inv olve s a 1 R e s e r v e s of u n im pre ssiv e -lo ok ing labour can be u se d not only for a c tiv ity that must be c o n c e a le d from t h e a u d i e n c e but a l s o for activity th at need not but can be c o n c e a le d . Mr Hughes h a s s u g g e s t e d in sem in ar

7S

kind of e c o lo g ic a l so rting that i s well known but li t t l e stu d ied .) And often it i s e x p e c te d th a t th o s e who work b a c k s ta g e will a c h i e v e te c h n ic a l s ta n d a r d s while t h o s e who work in the front region w ill a c h ie v e e x p r e s s i v e ones. T h e d e c o r a tio n s an d permanent fix tu re s in a p la c e where a p a r tic u la r perform ance is u s u a lly given, a s well a s the perform ers and perform ance u s u a lly found in it, tend to fix a kin d of s p e l l over i t ; even w hen the custom ary perform ance i s not being given in it, the p la c e te n d s to retain so m e of i t s front region ch a ra c te r. T h u s a ca th e d ra l and a schoolroom r e ta in so m e th in g of th e ir tone eve n when only repairm en are prese n t, and w hile t h e s e men may not behave reve re ntly while doing th e ir work, their irre v eren c e te n d s to be of a stru c tu re d kind, s p e c if ic a ll y oriented to what in some s e n s e they ought to be fee lin g but are not. So, too, a given p la c e may become so id e n tifie d a s a hide-out where c e r ta in s ta n d a r d s need not be m a in ta ined th a t it becom es fixed with an identity a s a back region. Hunting lo d g e s and lo c k e r rooms in a th le tic s o c i a l e s t a b l i s h m e n t s may s e rv e a s i ll u s tr a ti o n s . Summer r e s o r ts , too, seem to fix p e r m i s s iv e n e s s regarding front, a llo w in g o th e rw is e c o n ve ntion a l people to a p p e ar in public s t r e e t s in c o s tu m e s they would not ordinarily w ear in the p r e s e n c e of str a n g e r s . So, too, crim inal hang outs and even crim inal neighbourhoo ds are to be found, where th e a c t of being ’ l e g i t ’ need not be m a inta ined. An in te r e s tin g example o f th is i s s a id to have e x is te d in P a r i s : ’ In the s e v e n t e e n t h cen tu ry , th erefo re, in order to becom e a thorough Argotier, it was n e c e s s a r y no t only to s o l i c i t alm s like any mere hegg ar, but a l s o to p o s s e s s the dexterity of th e c u t- p u rs e a nd the thief. T h e s e a r t s w ere to be learned in t h e p l a c e s which se rv ed a s the h ab itu al r e n d e z v o u s o f the very d r eg s o f so c iety , a/id which were generally known a s the Cours d e s Miraclcs . T h e s e h o u s e s , ot rather r e s o r t s , had b een so c a lle d , if we a r e to b e l i e v e a writer of the early part of the s e v e n te e n th ce n tu r y , ' B e c a u s e rogues . . . an d other s, who h av e all day been cr i p p l e s , maim ed, d r o p s i c a l , and b e s e t with every s o n of bodily ailm ent, come home at n ig h t, ca rry in g under theit Arms a sirloin of beef, a joint of v e a l , or a l e g of mutton, not forg etting t o hang a bottle of wine to their b e l t s , and, on e n te r in g the court, they throw a s i d e rheir cr u tc h e s, r esu m e th eir h e a lth y and lusty a p p e a r a n c e , and, in im itatio n of the a n c i e n t B a c c h a n a lia n re v e lrie s , d a n c e all k in d s of d a n c e s with their tro p h ie s in th eir h a n d s , w h ilst t h e h o s t i s p rep arin g their s u p p e rs . Can there be n g r e a t e r miracle than i s to be s e e n in t h i s court, w here the maimed walk u p r ig h t? ' 1

In back r e g io n s su c h a s th e s e , the very fact th at an important e ffe c t is not striv e n for te n d s to s e t the tone for in te ra c tio n , le a d in g th o s e who find th e m s e lv e s there to act a s if they were on fam iliar te rm s with one another in all m atters. cli.it Negro e m plo y ees can more e a s i l y than o th erw ise be given s t a ff s t a t u s in American f a c t o ri e s if, a s in the c a s e of c h e m i s ts , they can be s e q u e s t e r e d from the main r egio n s of factory op er ation. ' P a u l L aC ro ix, Manners, Cu stom , and D ress during the Middle A g e s and during the R e n a i s s a n c e P eriod (London : Chapman an d Hall, 1876), p. 471.

76

However, while th ere is a tenden cy for a region to become id e n tif ie d a s the front region or back region of a performance with which it is reg ula rly a s s o c i a t e d , s ti ll there are many r e g io n s which function at one tim e and in o n e s e n s e a s a front region and a t another tim e and in an other s e n s e a s a back region. T h u s the private office of an e x e c u tiv e is c e rta in ly the front region where his s t a t u s in the o rg a n iz a tio n i s in te n s iv e ly e x p r e s s e d by m eans of the quality of his office fu rn ish in g s. And yet it is here th at he ca n ta k e h is ja c k e t off, lo o se n h i s tie, keep a bottle of liquor handy, and act in a chummy and even b o is te r o u s way with fellow e x e c u t iv e s of h is own rank. 1 Similarly, of a Sunday morning, a whole hou se ho ld ca n u s e the wall around i t s d o m e stic e s ta b lis h m e n t to c o n c e a l a r e la x in g s l o v e n lin e s s in d r e s s and c iv il endeavour, e x ten d in g to all rooms the inform ality th a t is u s u a lly r e s tr ic te d to the k itc h en an d bedrooms. So, too, in American m id d le - c la s s neighbourhoods, on a fte rn o o n s the line betw een the c h ild re n ’s playground and home may be defined a s b a c k s ta g e by mothers, who p a s s along it wearing je a n s , lo a f e r s and a minimum of make*up, a c i g a r e tt e dangling from th e ir lip s a s they push their baby c a r r ia g e s and openly talk shop with th e ir c o l le a g u e s . So a lso , in w o rk in g -c las s quartiers in P a r i s in the early morning, women feel they have a right to ex tend the b a c k sta g e to their c irc le of neighbouring s h o p s, and they p a tte r down for milk and fresh bread, wearing bedroom s lip p e r s , bathrobe, hairn et, and no make-up. And, o f co u rse , a region th a t is thoroughly e s ta b l is h e d a s a front region for the regula r perform ance of a p a r tic u la r routine often f u n c tio n s a s a back region before and af te r e a c h perform­ a n c e , for at t h e s e tim e s the perm anent fix tu res may undergo repair, resto ra tio n , and rearrangem ent, or the perform ers may hold d r e s s r e h e a r s a l s . To s e e this we need only g la n ce into a re s ta u r a n t, or sto re, or home, a few m inutes before chese e s ta b l is h m e n ts are opened to us for the day. In g en e ral, then, we must keep in mind that when we s p e a k of front and back regions we s p e a k from the reference point o f a p a rtic u la r perform ance, and we s p e ak of the function that the p la c e h a p p e n s to s e rv e at that time for the given perform ance. It was s u g g e s te d th a t p e r s o n s who co -o p e ra te in s ta g in g ' The fa ct that a sm all private office c a n be transform ed into a b ack region by the m anageable method o f being th e only one in i t p rov ides one r easo n why s t e n o g ra p h e r s som etim es prefer to work in a private o ffice a s o p po se d to a lar ge office floor. On a lar ge o p en floor som eone i s al w a y s likely to be p r e s e n t before whom an im p re ssio n of i n d u s t r i o u s n e s s must be m a i n t a i n e d ; in a small o ffice all p r e t e n c e of work and d eco ro u s behaviour c a n be dropped when the b o ss i s out. See Richatd R e n ck e, ' The S t a t u s C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of J o b s in a F a c t o r y ' (U np ub lish ed Master's t h e s i s , Department of Sociology, U niversity of Chicago, 1953), P- 53*

77

th e s a m e team-perform ance tend to be in a familiar relarion to one another. T h is fam iliarity te n d s to be e x p r e s s e d only when the a u d ie n c e is not p re se n t, for it c o n v e y s an im pression o f s e lf and team-mate which is ordinarily in c o n s is te n t with th e im p re ssio n of s e lf and team -m ate one w ants to s u s t a in before the au d ien c e. Since back reg io n s are ty p ic ally out of bounds to members of the a u d ie n c e , it i s here that we may expect rec ip ro c al fam iliarity to determ ine the tone of s o c ia l in te r c o u r se . Similarly, it is in the front region that we may ex p e ct a tone of formality to prevail. Throughout our so c ie ty there te n d s to be one informal or b a c k s ta g e lan g u ag e o f behaviour, and an o th er lan g u ag e of behaviour for o c c a s i o n s when a perform ance is being p re se n te d . T h e b a c k s ta g e language c o n s i s t s of reciprocal first-naming, c o -o p e ra tiv e d e c ision-m a kin g, profanity, open s e x u a l remarks, e l a b o r a te griping, smoking, rough informal d r e s s , ' s l o p p y ' s it tin g and sta n d in g p o sture, use of d ia le c t or su b -sta n d ard s p e ec h , mumbling and shouting, playful a g g re ssiv ity and 'k i d d i n g , ' i n c o n s id e r a te n e s s for th e oth e r in minor but p o te n tia lly symbolic a c t s , minor p h y sic a l se lf-in v o lv em e n ts such a s humming, w histling, chewing, nibbling, belching, and flatu len c e. T he frontstage behaviour la n g u ag e can be taken a s the a b s e n c e (and in some s e n s e the o p p o site ) of th is . In g en e ral, then, b a c k s ta g e conduct i s one which allow s minor a c t s which might e a s il y be taken a s sym bolic of intimacy and d is r e s p e c t for o th e rs p re se n t and for the region, while front region co nduct i s one which d is a llo w s such p o te n tia lly o ffe n siv e behaviour. * By invoking a b a c k s ta g e s ty l e , in d iv id u als ca n transform any region into a b a c k sta g e . T h u s we find that in many s o c ia l e s ta b l is h m e n ts the performers will appropriate a s e ctio n o f the front region and by ac tin g there in a familiar fashion sym bolically cut i t off from th e r e s t of the region. For in s t a n c e , in som e r e s ta u r a n ts in America, e s p e c ia ll y th o se c a l l e d 'o n e-arm j o i n t s , ’ the s ta ff will hold court in the booth fa rth e s t from the door or c l o s e s t to the kitchen, .inJ there conduct th e m se lv es, at l e a s t in som e r e s p e c ts , a s if they were b a c k sta g e . More important, we ought not to exp e ct that in co n c rete s it u a ti o n s we will find pure ex a m p le s of informal conduct or 1 Ic may be noted (hat b a c k s t a g e behaviour h a s what p s y c h o l o g i s t s might c a l l a ’ reg re ssiv e * c h aracter. The qu es tio n , of co u r se, is whether a b a c k s t a g e g i v e s in d iv id u a ls an opportunity ro r e g r e s s or whether r e ­ g r e s s i o n , in the c l i n i c a l s e n s e , i s bnckstag c co n d u ct invoked on in app rop riate o c c a s i o n s for m otives th at are not so c ially approve*!.

re

formal conduct, although there is usu ally a tendency to move the d efinition of the s itu a tio n in one of th e s e two direction s. We will not find r h e s e pure c a s e s b e c a u s e team -m ates with re s p e c t to one show will he to some degree performers and a u d ien c e for another show, and performers and audience for one sliow wjil to some ex te n t, however slig h t, be team -m ates with r e s p e c t to another show. 1’hus in a co n c rete s itu atio n we may expect a predominance of one sty le or the oclier, with som e fe e lin g s of guilt o r doubt co n c ern in g th e ac tu a l combination or b alanc e that is a c h ie v ed between the two sty les. I would lik e to e m p h a s iz e the fact chat a c tiv ity in a c o n c re te s itu a tio n is alw a y s a com prom ise between the formal and informal s t y l e s by referen c e to b a c k sta g e and b a c k sta g e a c tiv ity . Three common lim ita tio n s on b a c k sta g e informality may be cited . F irs t, when th e a u d ie n c e is not p rese n t, e a c h member of the team i s lik ely to want to s u s t a i n the im pression th a t lie can be tru ste d with th e s e c r e t s of the team and that he is not likely to play his part badly when the aud ien c e is presen t. While ea ch team member will want the audien ce to think of him a s a worthy ch a ra c te r, he is lik e ly to want h is team -m ates to think of him a s a loyal, w ell-d iscip lin ed performer. Secondly, there are often moments b a c k sta g e when the perform ers will have to s u s t a i n one a n o th e r ’s morale and maintain the im pressio n that the show that is about to be p re se n te d will go over well or that the show that h a s just bee n prese n ted did not really go over so badly. T hirdly, if th e team c o n t a in s r e p r e s e n ta tiv e s of fundamental so c ial d iv is io n s, suc h a s different ag e -g ra d es, different ethnic groups, e tc ., then some d isc re tio n a ry lim its will prevail on freedom of b a c k s ta g e ac tivity. Here, no doubt, the most important d iv isio n is the se xual one, for th e re s e e m s to be no s o c ie t y in which members of the two s e x e s , however c lo s e ly re la te d , do not s u s t a i n some a p p e a r a n c e s before ea ch other. In America, for in sta n c e , we learn the following about West C o a st s h ip y a rd s : In ih eir ordinary r e l a t i o n s h i p s with women workers most of the men were co urteou s and even gallan t. As t h e women infiltrated the h u l l s and th e remoter s h a c k s of the yard, the men amiably removed th eir g a l l e r i e s of n u d e s a nd pornography from the w alls and retired them to the gloom of th e tool box. In d e f e r e n c e to th e p r e s e n c e of ' l a d i e s , ’ m an ner s were improved, f a c e s were s h a v e d more often, an d language was toned down. T he taboo a g a i n s t im pro prieties of sp e e c h within e a r s h o t of women was s o extrem e a s to be am usin g, p atticu larly s i n c e the women th e m s e lv e s frequently g av e a u d ible proof th at the forbidden words were n e i t h e r un fam iliar nor distu rbin g to them. Yet 1 have often s e e n men who wan ted to u s e stro n g lan gu ag e, an d with good e x c u s e for it, flush with sudden em barra ssm ent and drop th eir

79

v o i c e s to a mutcer on becom ing c o n s c i o u s of a feminine a u d i e n c e . In i h e lu nchrime com pan ion sh ip o f men and women workers and in the c a s u a l ch ar a t a ny l e i s u r e moment, in all rhar pertain ed to familiar s o c i a l c o n t a c t s , even amid the u n f am iliar su rro u n d in g s of the shipyards» the men p r e s e r v e d a l m o s t i n tact the p a tte r n of b ehaviour which they p r a c t i s e d at h o m e ; the r e s p e c t fot the d e c e n t wife an d the good mother, th e c i r c u m s p e c t f r ie n d lin e s s with the s i s t e r , an d even (he )>rotecttvo affe ctio n for the i n e x p e r i e n c e d d a u g h te r of t h e family. 1

C h e s te rf ie ld m a k es a sim ilar s u g g e stio n about another s o c i e t y : In mixed c o m p a n ie s with your e q u a l s (fo r in m ixed co m panies rill p e o p l e are to a certain degree e q u a l) g reater e a s e and liberty are a l l o w e d ; but they too h a v e tb eir b ounds within b ic n s c a u c e . There is a s o c i a l r e s p e c t n e c e s s a r y ; you may st a rt your own s u b j e c t of c o n v e r s a ti o n with m odesty , taking g reat c a t e , however , de ne jttmnis parler d e c o n ie s d u n s la m aiso n d un p e n d t u Your words, g e s t u r e s , a n d a t t i t u d e s , have a g r e a te r d e g r e e of la t i t u d e , though by no m eans a n u n b o u n d e d one. You may h av e your h a n d s in your p o c k e t s , take sn u f f , s i t , s t a n d , or o c c a s i o n a l l y walk, -as vou l i k e ; but I believe you would nor think it very b i e n s e a n l to w h i s t l e , pu t your hat on, lo osen y o u r g a r t e rs or your b u ck les , l ie down upon a co uch, Or go to bed *ind w elter in an