Front Stage

Canadian-born social psychologist Erving Goffman defines the front stage as "that part of the individual's performance which regularly functions in a general and fixed fashion we define the situation for those who observe the performance.
Front Stage Sociology Definition

Definition

Canadian-born social psychologist Erving Goffman defines the front stage as “that part of the individual’s performance which regularly functions in a general and fixed fashion we define the situation for those who observe the performance. Front, then, is the expressive equipment of a standard kind intentionally or unwittingly employed by the individual during his performance.”

Explanation

In his book “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life,” published in 1959, Erving Goffman developed the dramaturgical viewpoint. It is the first book to examine in-person communication as a topic for sociological investigation. In it, Goffman offers a framework for comprehending social interaction and behaviour by using the metaphor of a theatrical show. He contends that social interactions are “performances” put on by “teams” of people in “front stage,” “back stage,” and “off stage” settings.

On the front stage, the actor presents a formal performance and follows rules that are significant to the audience. It is an element of the dramatic performance that is constant and includes broad explanations of the circumstance or part the actor is portraying to the previewing audience. Actor behaves appropriately since they are aware that they are being observed. This presentation is static.

According to Goffman, for an actor to perform well, the front stage requires a distinction between the environment and the personal front. The setting is the scenario that has to be present for the actor to perform; without it, they cannot do so. Items or equipment required to perform is included in the personal front. The audience may recognize these elements as a continual depiction of the performer and performance.

There are two distinct parts to the personal front.

• Appearance describes the aspects of a person’s exterior that reflect their social standing and manners, which describes how they behave.

• A performer’s demeanor tells the audience what to anticipate from their performance.

Example 

Backstage activities only occur while the audience is not present, whereas front-stage activities are visible and part of the show. 

The kind of customer care provided by the hotel receptionist at the neighborhood restaurant illustrates this. Receptionists frequently fulfill client demands while working and in front of customers while trying to seem unbothered by annoying requests. The receptionist wants the consumer to know that she is willing to accommodate their demands. 

The receptionist could make fun of the client to other employees after they leave. This demonstrates how people always pay attention to their audience and adjust their conduct appropriately.

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