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dramaturgy

dramaturgy, dramaturgical perspective A theoretical position, often allied to symbolic interactionism, role theory, and the work of Erving Goffman, which uses the stage and the theatre as its key organizing metaphor. The idea that ‘all the world is a stage and all the people players’ is hardly new, having a long lineage which includes Greek theatre, Shakespeare, and Machiavelli. In modern sociology, the idea was most fully explored by Goffman, whose study of the micro order of interaction highlighted the ways in which people are engaged in impression management. But although he is the most central contributor to this field there have been others: either developing particular aspects of the theory, as for example the application of the concept of ‘script’ to sexuality, in the work of John Gagnon and William Simon (Sexual Conduct, 1973); applying it to particular research problems, such as the study of soccer hooligans reported in Peter Marsh et al. , The Rules of Disorder, 1978
; or in political symbolism, as exemplified in Peter M. Hall 's ‘The Presidency and Impression Management’, Studies in Symbolic Interaction (1979)
.

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