A Reaction to Erving Goffman’s “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life”

Erving Groffman’s “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life” presents an interesting view of the daily interactions people encounter. Groffman (1956) compares the aspectof social interaction with the theater. He explains that everyone is just an actor who acts the character he or she wants to portray. Usually, these “characters” are created and personified by people in order to please the “audience” or the people we interact with. With this in mind, Groffman also presents supporting concepts his claim. One of which is the concept of the”front” and “back”. When he talks about the “front” he refers to when an actor is on stage. When an actor is on stage, he or she is usually acting or portraying a different character. On the other hand, the “back” refers to when an actor is in the backstage. In the backstage, actors become relaxed and are able to be themselves instead of being the “character” that pleases an audience. These concepts are just a few of the statements that Groffman talks about in his book.

With some research and light reading about Groffman’s book, I think he makes many interesting points. My biggest concern is that he basically claims that no one will be themselves when there are other people around. Personally, I believe that it is true, but it isn’t something I want to be a reality. If I were to look at how the people around me act, I can say that there are times when the expression they say is different from the expression they give off which is something also stated in the book. The more I try to delve deeper into the meaning and understanding Groffman had come across and wrote about, the more I come to refuse his ideas and concepts. I know that his book is held as an important piece of study and education, but the reality that no one is theirself is a sad reality for me to accept. I know that even I also sometimes alter who I am to be more accepted by the people around me, but there has always been a part of that wants to be accepted for the real me. when I think about how people just put on an “act” in their everyday life, it makes me question how trustworthy can someone really be if they’re not who they say they are. It makes me think if this is really the right way for people to live their lives, constantly putting on a show.

I wonder if there’ll ever come a time when the curtains will drop and the act is finished, and if it does, how was that change made possible. Looking into the book, and reading about these dangerous ideologies has made me more wary of the reality of how we live our lives. I guess to some people, there’s nothing wrong with how things are right now, and I actually think things are fine as they are, for now. I can”t help but imagine a world where all facades have been broken. I don’t know if that world will be better or worse for humanity, but it makes you think whether such a future is actually possible. In the end, it’s all up to the people. If no one’s complaining, then it’s alright I guess.

With regards to Groffman’s work, I have the utmost respect for the man. He was able to think in deeper way than most of us do, and he was able to observe a very crucial truth about how we live. With all that he said, he was still able to remain objective to his study and was able to deliver a profound understanding of how humans live. If we all take time to really understand what it is Groffman had to say, then maybe we too can uncover or simply just notice an underlying truth hidden under our noses the whole time.




The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life – A Summary


Human Trafficking Using the Web

Human Trafficking, defined in Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, is the organized criminal activity in which human beings are treated as possessions to be controlled and exploited. It is considered to be modern day slavery in which people, mostly children and women, are forced to do many different acts against their will. These people are usually the people who have gone missing or were kidnapped by the people who organize the criminal act for money. There are many ways people are getting taken by the people who behind the crime. In the modern age, the web is used to lure people into places where they are kidnapped and are then sold or forced to do acts such as sex and forced labor. One instance is when a 19-year old girl was offered of a modeling job over the internet. She was instructed to go to a hotel room to wait for someone. In there, she was then sold by the offender for an hourly rate for sex. Another instance is when people meet online. There have beem cases where strangers would meet and become well acquainted online with victims. The stranger would then ask to meet with the victim, usually in a secluded area, and kidnap or use the victim for whatever purpose they had intended to do. These are just a few of the many ways people are becoming victims of human trafficking. Even thought the web has granted people new ways to further human trafficking, there are those who have found a way to use the web to combat human trafficking. An example would be thecreation of a new internet search engine technology, Memex, developed by DARPA (Defense Advanced research Projects Agency) During Frberuary of 2015. This new search engine technology will help in better presenting, organizing, and discovering data on the internet. DARPA which is also a U.S. Department of Defense agency, claims that it was made to combat human trafficking in the first place. We all know how dangerous the world we can be, but we need to be ready for whatever danger might come. Being knowledgeable and careful will help us stay safe and not become another victim of human trafficking. This will definitely help those whose jobs are saving people from the disgraceful act.





Seriously? 3 Pages Only?

(Based on a true story)

It’s 6pm, and I’ve just arrived home. I make my way up the stairs, and I see two figures arguing inside a room. The two figures were none other than my own father, and my short and cute little sister. I couldn’t make out what they were talking about, but my father was definitely not in a good mood. Their talk didn’t seem to involve me, so I proceeded to my room to begin mowing down the load of homework I had for the night. Shortly after beginning, I hear a knocking at my door. It was my little sister trying to tell me it was time to eat. I told her that I was busy, and I might not eat that night. I don’t think she liked the idea of me skipping a meal for homework, so she began to nag about how we could get in trouble if we don’t get downstairs to eat soon. I tried to explain to her how busy I was, but she kept answering back to everything I said. Soon, we began to fight and argue. Before things got too out of hand, my father stepped in to stop us, and began to scold us both. I realized my father probably wasn’t in the best mood that night, so I pretty much had to eat. As soon as dinner was over, I rushed back into my room and began working. About an hour has passed and I go out of my room to get some water. The time was about 9pm. As I opened the door of my room, I see my little sister working on something. I come closer to ask what she was doing, but she was still mad at me and gave me no response whatsoever. I sort of saw that she was working with a Math book, but I had my own fish to fry that night which made not care what she was doing. A few hours have passed, it’s 12 midnight, and I was almost done with everything. Another productive hour and I would’ve been finished with everything. I go out of my room to get more water, but to my surprise, my little sister was still working on that Math book. Children her age shouldn’t even be awake at that time. I ask her what it is she was doing that kept her up this late. It turns out my little sister had been flunking her Math class, and my father was informed about it by the teacher. This explains the scolding I saw when I got home. I asked her again what she had to do, and she told me that she had to answer 15 more pages worth of drills and problems. It didn’t seem too bad until she told me that she had only finished 3 pages only at that point. It was 12 midnight, and we had school tomorrow. I realized that at the rate she was going, she wouldn’t even finish by 4am which is the time we all wake up for school. I guess it was the tired and frustrated look on her face that made me decide to help her out instead of continuing with my work, but that’s what big brothers are there for. We began to work on the problems, and with my help, we were ableto finish at around 3am. I thought we’d finish sooner, but she was flunking Math for a reason. As soon as we finished, I told her to go to bed and get some rest. Afterwards, I went back to my room only to realize that I still had work to do. I mustered every inch of grit I had left in my body and finished at around 4am. I didn’t get a wink of sleep that night which meant I was completely drained. I don’t know how I was going to make it through the day, but I guess doing all that work would be useless if I didn’t submit it. I then got dressed and packed my stuff, and went outside my room to go downstairs to eat. I didn’t notice at first, but there was a sticky note posted on my door. It turns out it was from my naggy little sister, and it was thanks to that made me think that the sleepless night was worth it.

Thank you