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dramaturgyan approach to social analysis, especially associated with Erving GOFFMAN, in which the theatre is the basis of an analogy with everyday life. In this analogy, social action is viewed as a ‘performance’ in which actors both play parts and stage-manage their actions, seeking to control the impressions they convey to others (impression management). The aim of actors is to present themselves in a generally favourable light and in ways appropriate to particular roles and social ‘settings – the latter is Goffman's term for the physical trappings which signal particular roles or status. In a related way, SOCIAL ACTORS also cooperate as members of teams’, seeking to preserve a ‘front’ while hiding from view the ‘backstage’ of social relations. Since actors will play different roles in different situations, they also on occasion find it necessary to practise audience segregation, withholding in a current situation any sign of those other roles they play which, if visible, would threaten the impression being given at the moment (e.g. the problems that would arise for a homosexual judge from any disclosure of his homosexuality). The model of interaction involved in dramaturgy turns on the inevitability of acting partly on inference. For Goffman, the social order is a precarious accomplishment, always liable to be disrupted by embarrassment and breaches of front.
The dramatic works of a writer, people, or period.
(2) The plot and characters of a play or film. Literary drama, transformed in the modern theater into a director’s script, forms the basis of theatrical dramaturgy. In cinematography, dramaturgy takes the form of screen-plays.