Welsh, John F.
August 1984
Humanity & Society;Aug84, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p253
Academic Journal
The article presents a critical Marxist analysis of certain obstacles to emancipatory interests found in the literature of dramaturgical sociology. Dramaturgical analysis maintains that everyday interactions are strategic in nature and that persons rationally attempt to create desired impressions of self to others in order to achieve certain privatized interests. Many critics of dramaturgical analysis have pointed to the amoral and dehumanizing concomitants of impression management as a concept. in their evaluation of sociologist Erving Goffman's work. However, once it is understood that impression management has origins in a relative societal totality, other issues are raised. For instance, if impression management points to dehumanizing processes, then a critique must be focused on its social origins as well. There are many advantages to capitalism as a system of production and as an ideology about social relations. Part of the final accounting of capitalism involves an assessment of what happens to the structure of social relations and the structure of self founded upon these social relations. This article helps to lay the theoretical groundwork toward that end.


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