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He holds that when an individual comes in contact with another person, he attempts to control or guide the impression that the other person will form of him, by altering his own setting, appearance and manner.
His doctoral dissertation, Communication Conduct in an Island Community (1953), presented a model of communication strategies in face-to-face interaction, and focused on how everyday life rituals affect public projections of self.
Goffman also dedicating this work to discover the subtle ways humans present acceptable images by concealing information that may conflict with the images for a particular situation.
For instance, concealing tattoos when applying for a job in which tattoos would be inappropriate, or hiding a bizarre obsession such as collecting/interacting with dolls which society as a whole may see as abnormal.
National Institute of Mental Health; University of California, Berkeley; University of Pennsylvania; American Sociological Association; American Association for the Abolition of Involuntary Mental Hospitalization Erving Goffman (11 June 1922 – 19 November 1982) was a Canadian-American sociologist, social psychologist, and writer, considered by some "the most influential American sociologist of the twentieth century".
In 2007 he was listed by The Times Higher Education Guide as the sixth most-cited author in the humanities and social sciences, behind Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, and ahead of Jürgen Habermas.