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Erving Goffman (1922—1982)


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A concept referring to the concealed or protected social spaces or regions in which social actors prepare cultural performances, as opposed to the frontstage or front region in which social interactions take place more publicly. The term was developed by Erving Goffman in his analysis of ‘regions and region behaviour’ in his 1959 study The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Backstage, ‘action occurs that is related to the performance but inconsistent with the appearance fostered by the performance’. The unflappable batsman in cricket, for instance, may be a bundle of nerves back in the dressing room, but it is pivotal to the sporting performance and the team goals that he or she retains a cool demeanour when walking to the crease.

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.

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