Tags: emotion/desire, goffman, theory, defining the situation, harold garfinkel, impression management, norms, scripts, social interaction, 00 to 05 mins
Summary: When teaching about Harold Garfinkel and Erving Goffman, I have students analyze this speed-dating video in small groups by asking them what Garfinkel and Goffman would each have to say about the interaction depicted in the video. Then, as a class, we discuss how the video provides a good example of the unstated rules of social interaction described by Garfinkel and Goffman. Both people in the video clearly come to the interaction with shared expectations for what happens on a speed-date, and they successfully manage the interaction by taking turns in conversation, flirting, and the other sorts of things meant to happen in this particular situational template. Then, we watch the video clip from Dave Chappelle, "When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong." Here, students can see the consequences of breaking social rules of interaction (Dave Chappelle’s character gets fired after a workplace outburst), and we also discuss the limitations of the structuralist paradigm. To help students with this latter task, I ask the following kinds of questions: (1) Does it seem like everyone in the group came to the meeting with shared expectations about what would happen there? (2) Does “give me some skin” mean the same thing to Dave Chappelle’s character as it does to his mentor? (3) What emotion does Goffman tell us that people usually feel after they break social rules or lose face? Does Dave Chappelle’s character appear to be feeling this emotion? What does he appear to be feeling? Why? (4) Is there value in breaking with expected rules of social interaction? These videos were originally suggested for classroom use by students as part of my larger effort to incorporate student-generated content into my courses. See more here. (Note: A version of this post originally appeared on tracyperkins.org.)
Submitted By: Tracy Perkins
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