Erving Goffman is one of many sociologists who explores the social construction of reality through his perspective on the

everyday performance of any activity. In, 1959, he published the seminal sociology book, The Presentation of Self in

Everyday Life. In it, his focus is on social interactions and how they perform cultural (rather than individual) identity, making

those behaviors that are performed in public little dramas that are culturally constituted, the dramaturgical approach to

performativity. In Understanding Everyday Life, Tony Bennett and Diane Watson synthesize Goffman’s work by noting that

for “Goffman, as for symbolic interactionism generally, people are social actors who construct appearances to perform

the roles they must play in everyday life” (111). It is through these behaviors that they enact normality; as in any role-

playing activity, a good deal of artifice is naturally involved. Goffman’s is the idea that normality has to be made by

everyday interaction and that “everyday life is […] a set of rules about social performance” that individuals decide to

follow or disobey (Bennett 112).

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