I was watching Gossip Girl last night when this Victoria Secret commercial came on advertising their new fragrance.
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers television show was one of the most popular children’s television shows during the 90’s. From a sociological perspective, the show’s settting, its characters, and their interactions are the epitome of the society that Goffman refers to in his book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. The Power Rangers themselves embody what Goffman refers to as a “team” in which the members are defined as “being in the know” and together work to put on a front or performance for their audiences. For example, the rangers (along wth Zordon and Alpha 5) are the only individuals in the town of Angel Grove who know the identity of the Power Rangers. When crisis situations arrive and the town is in danger, the team members must put on the performance that they are ignorant to the identity and wherabouts of the Power Rangers. When the members of the team are outside the earshot or visibility of an audience, or in the “backstage” region, they use the time to either contact Zordon for orders, discuss Power Ranger matters (staging issues), or morph into the Power Rangers (showtime!).
These are pictures that I took on two separate occasions, both of which I think display Goffman’s ideas of Dramaturgy and the Front and Back Stage Self. Dramaturgy is essentially the idea that life is a series of performances; people are constantly performing for one another. Individuals are all actors on theoretical stages with costumes, props, etc. These photos that I took of the Marc By Marc Jacobs rat and the Roman Coliseum Trojan man are exaggerated representations of Dramaturgy, for these people dressed in costumes are literally performing for an audience. However, even out of costume, these individuals perform based on the different roles they are constantly juggling. For example, the Trojan man clearly performs differently when he is in his Trojan costume compared to when he is out of costume (or at least one would hope…). Further, perhaps the Marc Jacobs rat is an employee of the Marc Jacobs store and performs differently when he is out of his rat costume and working at the register. In both cases, he is performing, but he performs differently in both situations.