Access: Comedy Central
Summary: One of the most difficult aspects of Ervin Goffman’s face to understand is the concept’s multifaceted nature. Face is both ‘something we are in’ during social interactions as we conform to social roles, identities and practices; but simultaneously face is also ‘something that can be gained and lost’ through our impression management. To overcome this difficulty, Dave Chappelle’s ‘When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong’ can be used to highlight the multifaceted nature of Goffman’s concept. In this video, Vernon Franklin feels a colleague violated the rules of the interaction order by being insensitive, thus creating a social situation where the two facets of face conflict with each other. Vernon is forced to choose between ignoring an insensitive comment and maintaining face as afforded to him by his colleagues because he abides by the rules of the interaction order; or challenging his offensive colleague and save the face he claims for himself through his personal pride and dignity. Vernon chose the former by leaving face and “keeping it real;” or he abandons the line others expect him to play to maintain a positive self-perception of his own self. Because of his own violation of interaction order, he ends up first losing face as afforded to him by others when he is fired from his high paying job and then the face he is able to claim for himself as he is relegated to the occupational role of a poorly paid car wash employee.
Submitted By: Jason T. Eastman