The red, shaking fool: dramaturgical dilemmas in shyness

Scott, Susie (2005) The red, shaking fool: dramaturgical dilemmas in shyness. Symbolic Interaction, 28 (1). pp. 91-110. ISSN 01956086

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Shyness has previously been conceptualized as an object of psychological study, but a symbolic interactionist approach relocates the condition in its social context. Using data from in-depth interviews and an e-mail distribution list, this article considers the ways in which the shy role is defined and negotiated in everyday interaction. It examines the myriad dramaturgical strategies through which shy actors attempt to conceal their lack of poise and competence, as well as how shyness itself can be a discrediting performance. Managing this identity therefore requires complex skills of self-presentation and paradoxically reveals a strong commitment to the interaction order.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The article is innovative in applying the classic dramaturgical theory of Goffman to shyness as a contemporary social issue. In particular, the article focused on shy actors' strategies of self-presentation, managing 'frontstage' and 'backstage' regions of the self and using props, settings and scenery to mediate interaction in social situations. Reviewers of the article remarked that this made an original contribution to the field of Symbolic Interactionism.
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Susie Scott
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:21
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2012 09:37
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