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27 OCTOBER 2012

Erving Goffman: backstage and frontstage behaviour

"Throughout our society there tends to be one informal or backstage language of behaviour, and another language of behaviour for occasions when a performance is being presented. The backstage language consists of reciprocal first–naming, co–operative decision–making, profanity, open sexual remarks, elaborate griping, smoking, rough informal dress, ' sloppy' sitting and standing posture, use of dialect or sub–standard speech, mumbling and shouting, playful aggressivity and 'kidding,' inconsiderateness for the other in minor but potentially symbolic acts, minor physical self–involvements such as humming, whistling, chewing, nibbling, belching, and flatulence. The frontstage behaviour language can be taken as the absence (and in some sense the opposite) of this. In general, then, backstage conduct is one which allows minor acts which might easily be taken as symbolic of intimacy and disrespect for others present and for the region, while front region conduct is one which disallows such potentially offensive behaviour." [1]

(Erving Goffman, 1959, p.78)

[1] It may be noted that backstage behaviour has what psychologists might call a 'regressive' character. The question, of course, is whether a backstage gives individuals an opportunity to regress or whether regression, in the clinical sense, is backstage conduct invoked on inappropriate occasions for motives that are not socially approved.

Goffman, E. (1959). "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life", University of Edinburgh Social Sciences Research Centre.

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TAGS

1959 • appropriated metaphor • backstage • backstage behaviour • backstage conduct • backstage language • belching • chewing • co-operative decision-making • cooperative decision-making • cultural beliefs • cultural normscultural valuesdecision makingdialectdisrespectdisrespect for others • dramatism • dramaturgical analysis • dramaturgical sociology • dramaturgy • dramaturgy (sociology) • elaborate griping • Erving Goffmaneveryday lifeflatulence • front region conduct • frontstage behaviour language • human interactionshummingidentity performance • inconsiderateness • informal behaviour • informal language • Kenneth Burke • kidding • language of behaviour • microsociological accounts • minor acts • minor physical self-involvements • mumbling • nibbling • offensive behaviour • open sexual remarks • playful aggressivity • profanity • reciprocal first-naming • regression • regressive character • rough informal dress • shouting • sloppiness • sloppy sitting • smokingsocial behavioursocial interaction • social occasion • sociological perspective • standing posture • study of social interaction • sub-standard speech • symbolic acts • symbolic behavioursymbolic interactionism • symbolic of intimacy • theatrical metaphor • theatrical performance • whistling

CONTRIBUTOR

Barbara Adkins
25 APRIL 2011

Fantastic Planet: political allegory of human regression and rebirth

"A winner of the Cannes Film Festival 1973, 'Fantastic Planet' is a full length animated fantasy set on the planet of the Draags in a far–off solar system where humans are kept as pets by a race of huge blue creatures."

(Alice in Videoland)

Fig.1–8 René Laloux and Roland Topor (1973). 'Fantastic Planet/La Planète Sauvage'. France: 72 mins.

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TAGS

1973alienalien raceallegoryanimationattackbluebraceletCannes Film FestivalchildrencollarcommunicationCzechoslovakiadomesticated • Draags • drawingexodusextermination • Fantastic Planet • fantasyfilm • fragile • fragilityFrancefuturehumanhumanoidimaginary worlds • Jiri Trnka Studio • knowledge • La Planete Sauvage • lethal • master and slave • meditationnew technology • Oms • Oms en serie • peacepetplanetpolitical allegorypost-apocalyptic scenariorebirthregression • Rene Laloux • reversal of fortune • Roland Topor • savage • scalescience fictionsocietyspeculative fictionspiritsstatue • Stefan Wul • stop framesymbolism • Terr • Tiva • tribevisual design

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
31 DECEMBER 2003

Becoming: Resemblance, Relationships

"Darwin himself treats the evolutionist theme of kinship and the naturalist theme of the sum and value of differences or resemblances as very separate things: groups that are equally related can display highly variable degrees of difference with respect to the ancestor. Precisely because natural history is concerned primarily with the sum and value of differences, it can conceive of progressions and regressions, continuities and major breaks, but not an evolution in the strict sense, in other words, the possibility of a descent the degree's of modification of which depend on external conditions. Natural history can think only in terms of relationships (between A and B), not in terms of production (from A to x)."
(Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, 2004)

Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, 2004. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.

31 DECEMBER 2003

Natural History: Mimesis

"But something very important transpires at the level of relationships. For natural history conceives of the relationships between animals in two ways: series and structure. In the case of a series, I say a resembles b, b resembles c, etc.; all of these terms conform in varying degrees to a single, eminent term, perfection, or quality as the principle behind the series. This is exactly what the theologians used to call an analogy of proportion. In the case of a structure, I say a is to b as c is to d; and each of these relationships realizes after its fashion the perfection under consideration: gills are to breathing under water as lungs are to breathing air; or the heart is to gills as the absence of a heart is to tracheas [in insects] ... This is an analogy of pro–portionality. In the first case, I have resemblances that differ from one another in a single series, and between series. In the second case, I have differences that resemble each other within a single structure, and between structures. The first form of analogy passes for the most sensible and popu–lar, and requires imagination; but the kind of imagination it requires is a studious one that has to take branchings in the series into account, fill in apparent ruptures, ward off false resemblances and graduate the true ones, and take both progressions and regressions or degraduations into account. The second form of analogy is considered royal because it requires instead all the resources of understanding (entendement), in order to define equiv–alent relations by discovering, on the one hand, the independent variables that can be combined to form a structure and, on the other hand, the corre–lates that entail one another within each structure. As different as they are, the two themes of series and structure have always coexisted in natural his–tory; in appearance contradictory, in practice they have reached a more or less stable compromise. l In the same way, the two figures of analogy coex–isted in the minds of the theologians in various equilibriums. This is because in both cases Nature is conceived as an enormous mimesis: either in the form of a chain of beings perpetually imitating one another, progressively and regressively, and tending toward the divine higher term they all imitate by graduated resemblance, as the model for and principle behind the series; or in the form of a mirror Imitation with nothing left to imitate because it itself is the model everything else imitates, this time by ordered difference. (This mimetic or mimological vision is what made the idea of an evolution–production possible at that moment.)"
(Deleuze and Guattari, p.234–35)

Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari 2002. 'A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia', London, UK: Continuum.

1). Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari: Chapter 10. 1730: Becoming–Intense, Becoming–Animal, Becoming–Imperceptible

TAGS

analogydegradation • entende • equilibriumimitationmimesis • mimological • mirrornatural historynature • ordered • progressionregressionrelationship • resemble • structuretheologianverisimilitude
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