Goffman and the Stigma of Spas

Some of you may recognize this sign at the intersection of Norwalk and Eagle Rock Blvd. I was driving back from Target, trying to think sociologically when I took this photo while driving. In our society there is definitely a stereotype of who goes to a spa to get a facial or massage. It is something distinctly associated with women.

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Stickers and Labels

This sticker vending machine is an interesting study in identity. It gives you many options, the Disney princesses, the Marvel superheroes, the South Park kids. Among all the Hannah Montana glamour shots, a child choosing which stickers he or she wants is choosing an idol and a brand. This becomes part of the dramaturgy as a child chooses to be either a princess or a superhero and acts out the archetype.

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Symbolic Interactionism Lecture

  • If reality is socially constructed (and there exists no objective reality), what are sociologists actually studying then?
  • How do sociologists’ social positions influence their study of social life?

Mystification: 7 Days to Write an Online Dating Profile

A believer in the symbolic interactionist perspective, sociologist Erving Goffman believes that our individual identities are anything but natural or constant; they are instead masks that we construct based on the people we strive to be or the objectives we wish to obtain from a given social interaction. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life illuminates the dramaturgy involved in the creation of self because, like actors, we are constantly reading social cues in order to regulate and mold ourselves to what is appropriate to the social context.

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