Appearances in performances (9/17/05)

In my weekend reading for my Oraganzational Performances graduate school class, I was reading a chapter from Erving Gofffman's "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life". His book deals with how we all put on acts, or performances, in our everyday dealings with others.

In Chapter One, he goes into how we may put on appearances that are less than honest to avoid dealing with others, letting them think what they want to avoid having to explain ourselves or knowing our real opinions, when we think it may interfere in our overall interaction with those individuals. To explain, he writes:

It is not assumed, of course, that all cynical performers are interested in deluding their audiences for purposes of what is called "self-interest" or private gain. A cyncial individual may deulde his audience for what he considers to be their own good, or for the good of the community, etc.

To help clarify his point, Goffman goes on to say:

We know that in service occupations practitioners who may otherwise be sincere are sometimes forced to delude their customers because their customers show such a heartfelt demand for it.

QUESTION: Do we often put up appearances for the sake of simiplicity or expediency when we deal with others - even when what we are doing may not adversely affect them?

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