Communicating Identity The Social Self
Identity-” a theory of self that is formed and maintained through actual or imagined interpersonal agreement about what self is like” (Schlenker, 1985, p.67). • “a person’s identity is forged, expressed, maintained, and modified in the crucible of social life, as its contents undergo the continual process of actual or imagined observation, judgement , and reaction by audiences” (Schlenker, 1985, p. 68). Definition of Identity
Identity gives meaning ourselves in relation to the rest of the world. • Self esteem is how we see ourselves either positively or negatively. • Social identity theory- gives an example of how our identities are developed and maintained as well as how our identity or self view is intricately linked to our membership in social groups. Perception and Identity
Communication theory of Identity-identity construction can be viewed through four “frames of identity” or “lenses”. • First identity is viewed through the Personal Frame: • Second identity is viewed through the Enactment Frame: • Third identity is viewed through the relationship frame: • The last identity is viewed through communal frame: Perception and Identity
Self Expansion Theory- helps explain how identity influences the development of close relationships after first impressions are made. Framed through 3 main predictors. • First people try to expand themselves to be more than they are. • Second people get in relationships to try and expand their identities • Third the success of a relationship depends on the ability of the relationship to expand the partners’ experiences and sense of self. Perceptions and Identity
First principle is our identities provide us with a hierarchical structure of who we are. • Second principle is the feed back we receive from others helps shape our identities • Third principle is that our identities help us interpret feedback from others • Fourth principle specifies that identity incorporates expectations and guides behavior. Principles of Identity Management
Fifth principle is identity influence our evaluations of self. • Sixth principle is identity influences the likelihood of goal identity • Last principle is our identities influence the social relationships we choose to pursue and maintain. Identity Management cont.
Self presentation- reflect the things we do to portray a particular image of self to others. (Close Encounters) • Is self-presentation hypocritical, manipulative, or deceptive? • How is self-presentation related to communication competence? • To what extent is self presentation a deliberate, conscious activity? Communicating Identity to Others
Dramaturgical Perspective- Goffman said by using the metaphor of theater, that we constantly enact performances that are geared for particular audiences, with the purpose of advancing an image that is beneficial to us. • Condition 1: The behavior reflects highly valued and central aspects of the self. • Condition 2: Successful performance is tied to vital positive or negative consequences. The Dramaturgical Perspective
Condition 3: The behavior reflects directly on highly valued rules of conduct. • Front vs. Back Stage: Two stages for our performances, front and back • Role of Audience and Context Dramaturgical Perspective cont.
Politeness Theory- focuses on the specific ways in which people manage face using communication. • Positive face- the favorable image that people portray to others and hope to have validated by others. • Negative face- reflects our desire to “be Free from imposition and restraint and to have control over our own territory, possessions, time, space and resources.” Politeness Theory
Face-threatening Acts- behaviors that detract from an individual’s identity by threatening either their positive or negative face desires ( Brown and Levinson, 1987). Positive Theory cont.
Facework Strategies. • “bald on record” strategy • “positive politeness” strategy • “negative politeness” strategy • “going off record” strategy Positive Politeness cont.