From ways we mask our selves and

From the moment we open our eyes until the moment we go to bed, we
go through multiple thought processes; ” what should I wear today? “Why is this
man looking at me”?  All these thoughts
can be attribute back to presentation of self. Humans seek the validity of
others, and how we are viewed. In addition to seeking validity, and attempting
to present our self in the best manner possible, we also assess other
individuals on the way they present them selves. Presentation of self takes a major part in our lives, as we can learn
from Geoffmans readings. Whereby he discuss ways we mask our selves and enact
various roles. In an attempt to set ourselves in a favorable view to our
general audience, that being society. Goffman dissects in his writing the way
we project our selves in presentation to others and why we express our selves,
forming several classic concepts that are well renowned in sociology today.

Goffman theorizes
that a person identity can fall under description he calls impression
management. In other words a persons identity is not entirely stable but more
dependent on that factor of the circumstance. I whole-heartedly agree with this
concept. As it is concept that can be observed off of many situations. For
instance this is a situation I have seen many times. The attitude of many bus
drivers towards customers change based off a situation, such as being more
aggressive at times to riders that seem meek or harmless, while being
apprehensive in their attitude to those with an authoritative or threatening air
to them.  In essence the bus driver
evaluates the person judging them by appearance, gender, and their general
stature. In the film catch me if you can we can see somewhat similar biases of
people evaluating the main character Abangale based off of his appearance.  Abangale through out the film exhibits
impression management, by his competent communication causes the people around
him to do, as he wants with out realizing. As we can see Goffman referring to
in his work (p.25)”Influence this definition by expressing himself in such a
way as to give them the kind of impression that will lead them to act
voluntarily in accordance with his own plan”.


Knowingly or not
knowingly when we express ourselves we do so in two forms. In a term coined by
Goffman as expressive behavior that can be broken down in to, expression given
and expression given off. Which can be translated in simpler terms as what we
relay to our audience, and the way we relay it through our body language, and
facial expressions, usually unintentionally done. In the film catch me if you
can the lead Abangale often we can see uses this methodology. But in a
perplexed planned way, with an aim of deception. Through his boyish good looks
and warm friendly demeanor while requesting his falsified checks, teller after
teller given in to his request with out second guessing him. The confidence in
his stance and way of requesting what he wants causes his audience the tellers
to have no doubts in the authenticity. All in all most successful scammers run
their scams by using this concept.


          The first
time around reading through Goffmans paper, I slightly misunderstood his aim of
his message he is trying to convey to the reader. I had assumed that the text
taken referring to the English man Preedy was placed to show us how he wanted
to flaunt his skills. Which in a way may be true, but there was a deeper
message to the reader. That metaphorically speaking we are in a sense actors,
the world is our stage and surrounding individuals are our audience. The
notions Goffman refers to in his text such as definition of situation whereby
we assess our general surroundings and based on that, results in the thought
process of how we should behave. This can seen in reference to Preedy in the
text extracted by Goffman as an example (pg.25) ” If by chance a ball was thrown
his way, he looked surprised; then let a smile of amusement lighten his face
(kindly Preedy), looked round dazed to see that there were people on the beach,
tossed it back with a smile to himself and nota smile at the people”. From this
passage we can extract how we humans respond to a situation based on where we
are at that very moment. We decide and seemingly plan how ti react and present
our self. Such as in a library, we communicate in a hushed manner this is due
to definition of the situation, and present ourselves in a quieter way in
respect to where we are. That doesn’t mean we are shy or quite, but simply we
adjust our presentation of self on the terms of defining our situation. Based
off of Goffmans passage we learn the motive of why do we define a situation. We
are ultimately seeking to morally force a person to act in a certain way
towards us as a result. In the film Catch me if you can , the lead investigator
never do we see him disrespect Abengale or feel any particular strong  malicious 
towards him. Could it be related to definition of situation perhaps? If
we broaden our perspective based off of this concept, we can see if we refer to
Abengale past as a child and environment. Maybe that is the reason that the FBI
investigator attitude towards Abengale was different, then one would expect, in
terms of him being a criminal on the run.


           The most
concept that I could say from the Goffmans passage that’s very relatable and
one many know of is defensive practice. Commonly known as becoming
defensive.  Its common human nature to engage
in being defensive in a situation. Whether denying something done, gving
excuses we do not like looking at fault or being embarrassed.. As Gofmman is concluding
in his work that it’s a mechanism to safe guard our impressions on others.  Its something we all have done numerous times
in our daily interactions