Erving Goffman Quotes
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Choose your self-presentations carefully, for what starts out as a mask may become your face.
The self... is not an organic thing that has a specific location, whose fundamental fate is to be born, to mature, to die; it is a dramatic effect arising diffusely from a scene that is presented.
The normal and the stigmatized are not persons, but perspectives.
All the world is not, of course, a stage, but the crucial ways in which it isn’t are not easy to specify
Stigma is a process by which the reaction of others spoils normal identity.
Society is organized on the principle that any individual who possesses certain social characteristics has a moral right to expect that others will value and treat him in an appropriate way.
Society is an insane asylum ran by the inmates.
Any group of persons – prisoners, primitives, pilots, or patients – develop a life of their own that becomes meaningful, reasonable and normal once you get close to it.
Approved attributes and their relation to face make every man his own jailer; this is a fundamental social constraint even though each man may like his cell.
There seems to be no agent more effective than another person in bringing a world for oneself alive, or, by a glance, a gesture, or a remark, shriveling up the reality in which one is lodged.
So I ask that these papers be taken for what they merely are: exercises, trials, tryouts, a means of displaying possibilities, not establishing fact.
The world, in truth, is a wedding.
Man is not like other animals in the ways that are really significant: Animals have instincts, we have taxes.
...the issue becomes not whether a person has experience with a stigma of his own, because he has, but rather how many varieties he has had his own experience with.
Gender, not religion, is the opiate of the masses.