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Social Dramaturgy: How We Develop Masks to Interact

https://exploringyourmind.com/social-dramaturgy-develop-masks-interact/

exploringyourmind.com

Social Dramaturgy: How We Develop Masks to Interact
Social dramaturgy focuses on the study of human behavior and on the rules that control our daily interactions. Read more here!

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We All Wear Masks

We All Wear Masks
  • According to Sociologist Erving Goffman, life consists of a series of acts, where we put on various masks, as we believe it is beneficial to hide parts of ourselves or to project a certain image.
  • Every social interaction that we participate in, we are trying to project a concrete, stable image of ourselves.
  • Ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato have observed that drama or comedy does not resemble reality as much as tragedy does.

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Social Dramaturgy: The World Is A Stage

There is a subconscious control going on almost all the time in our behaviour, on how others perceive us, something which is called social dramaturgy.

This behaviour would not be acceptable or palpable for others, if they didn’t participate in this in social environments, resulting in a set of protocols that is agreed upon by all.

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The Stage And The Backstage

In a theatrical play, if someone is not knowing how to act, and behaves in the same way on the stage and on the backstage, there is a good chance of that person being discarded from the play, as it can be a danger to the remaining cast.

Life in that sense becomes a stage where we skillfully apply makeup, the appropriate costume and right expressions (surprise, approval or disgust) that are required for social success.

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The Ideal Image On The Stage Of Life

  1. We don’t let others know how we do what we do. There is no rehearsal footage of us learning the skills that we show to others, and they only get to see the final result.
  2. We cultivate an ‘image’ by hiding the dirty work and projecting only the positive stuff.
  3. We don’t react to insults or show our negative side in public, preferring to deal with the problem behind the scenes.

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Thinking like an actor

We can use performance techniques off stage to create a reality of our choosing.

Using acting techniques isn’t the same thing as manipulating people, or being phony or fake. Instead, i...

Know your big picture goal

An actor always performs with a clear purpose or motivation in mind. When you’re thinking about your next high-stakes situation, ask yourself the same question that actors ask when developing a character: “What’s my end goal?”

Think about your long-term objective, not just the immediate one. 

Think about the other person

... and how you want them to feel. The choices made by an actor during a performance — in speech and movement — are in the service of attaining their goal and achieving a specific impact on their audience.

Not everything you say or do is going to work, but if you can fluidly play one action after another in pursuit of your objective, it gives you this ability to improvise in the moment and be flexible.

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Losing Your Identity

Losing Your Identity

Humans are social creatures, interdependent on one another. Socializing is at its core, a mental workout, and an essential part of brain development.

Being alone, one can start to lose ...

Being Alone Affects The Brain

Human beings form social circles averaging to 150 individuals; this is called the Dunbar’s Number.

A lack of people around us can actually make our brain shrink. The region known for formation of new memories, called the 'dentate gyrus', reduces in size if there is no human interaction. There is also a reduction in spatial processing (locating objects in a given space) and focus.

Solitude, Loneliness And Isolation

Positive solitude is a state of being alone without being lonely, in a contented manner.

Loneliness, on the other hand, is isolation with a hunger for social contact, something that distorts one’s perceptions, damaging the ability to interact in a normal way with others. It also lowers one’s self-esteem leading to a loneliness loop, characterized by social withdrawal and depression.

Anthropology

It is the study of humans and the ways they live. The goal is to understand human diversity and cultural differences. The four primary sub-fields:

  • Archeology focuses o...

Sociology

It studies the ways groups of people interact with each other and how their behavior is influenced by social structures, categories, and institutions. It has many tenets:

  • Individuals belong to groups, which influence their behavior.
  • Groups have characteristics independent of their members.
  • Sociology focuses on patterns of behavior among groups (defined by gender, race, class, etc.)

Anthropology and sociology careers 

Anthropology and sociology degrees can lead to a career as a teacher, public sector employee, or academic. The degree can be a stepping stone to a career in politics, public administration, or law.

Non-academic careers for anthropologists include public sector research at organizations like the World Bank or UNESCO, or working as freelance research consultants.

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