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Exploring the Affect Society Has on the Shaping of Human Behavior

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There are numerous aspects of social interaction used in the shaping of social relationships. For the purpose of this paper, I thoroughly examined the theories of “Self-perception” and “Social perception “I decided to focus on the views given by Sociologist’s Erving Goffman and Charles Darwin throughout chapter four.

According to sociologist Erving Goffman, social interaction should be compared to a theatrical performance, with the members of society playing the roles of actors or actresses. Performers often worry and stress prior to going on stage. They worry about what the spectators will think? Will they ever get another role? How will they know if the spectators like their performance, and if they don’t what will happen to their career? Goffman believes “self-presenters sometimes worry about being judged incompetent; they often rehearse prior to their performance”. However, performers are not the only individuals who are self -presenters. Society is full of norms and rules that are socially acceptable or unacceptable. These societal norms shape and mold the behavior of human behavior throughout society. Individuals, who try to fit into those norms and rules, often find themselves rehearsing their roles and behavior.

For example, applicants going for job interviews often rehearse what they will, and will not say in the interview. An applicant also observes the interviewers body language and responses, in order to figure out if they are being accepted or rejected. Goffman, gives the example of an individual preparing “for a romantic dinner date, for instance, you might purchase your date’s favorite wine, splash on some enticing cologne, and bring a romantic CD as a gift (the props) that will later be played at the right moment to properly set that stage for your romantic self-presentation. You might even practice your romantic gazes and postures in front of a mirror or rehearse a romantic speech beforehand” (Franzol, 85). The stated examples, illustrate the importance of being accepted. The acceptance or rejection from society shapes the individuals attitude towards self-worth, and will construct their future behavior and interaction.

Further, in the readings, Goffman introduces the term “Strategic self-presentations.” The definition given to describe this term is “Conscious and deliberate efforts to shape other people’s impression in order to achieve ulterior goals” (Franzol, 85). A common strategy used in self-presentation is self-promotion. Individuals, who use self-promotion, often boast about their positive assets. The intended goals are respect and envy. These individuals feel

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