"... often what talkers undertake to do is not to provide information to a recipient but to present dramas to an audience. Indeed, it seems that we spend most of our time not engaged in giving information but in giving shows." — Erving Goffman <br><br> *************<br><br> Performance <br><br> All of the following quotes are from Erving Goffman: <br><br> "A performance, in the restricted sense in which I shall now use the term, is that arrangement which transforms an individual into a stage performer, the latter, in turn being an object that can be looked at in the round and at length without offense, and looked to for engaging behavior, by persons in an 'audience' role." <br><br> A footnote to the above notes "a quality of performance" from the writings of Dell Hymes, which is that "there is a sense in which performance is an attribute of any behavior, if the doer accepts or has imputed to him responsibility for being evaluated in regard to it." [bolding added by me] <br><br> "In formulating a separation of some kind between person and role, one should in no way precommit oneself to notions about the 'essential' nature of each. There is a tendency to assume that although role is a 'purely' social matter, the engine that projects it — the person or individual — is somehow more than social, more real, more biological, deeper, more genuine. This lamentable bias should not be allowed to spoil our thinking. The player and the capacity in which he plays should be seen initially as equally problematic and equally open to a possible social accounting." <br><br> "Assume that the sense of any strip of activity is linked to the frame of the experience and that there are weaknesses inherent in this very framing process." <br><br> "My concern ... is to learn about the way we take it that our world hangs together, and for this, artful means for deceiving are as instructive as artful means for nosing out deception ... " <br><br> "To be 'natural,' then, is not merely to seem at ease, but to be acting in such a way as to convince others that the apparent frame is in fact the actual one. That is what is meant, functionally speaking, by sincerity and spontaneity. When we deal with an incompetent person and find it difficult not to smile, or deal with a mad one and find it difficult not to show fear, or deal with the police and find it difficult not to show guilt, what we are tending to give away is not a person, ourselves, but a frame, one that we have been maintaining. These affects and responses are only incidentally of persons; they are primarily about frames, and it is only in frame terms that one can make sense of the concern shown in regard to them."