Dramaturgy in art and sociology

Dramaturgy Dramaturgie anaterate Pixabay Kristina Kral
Symbolbild: Dramaturgie


Dramaturgy. Today dramaturgy has several different meanings. Originally it referred to the art of composition of dramas or the representation of the main elements of drama on the stage.

Dramaturgy in the field of Sociology

Dramaturgy in the field of sociology was first adepted by Erving Goffmann in his book „The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life“ in 1959. Kenneth Burke who acknowledged Goffman as an influence, had given his thoughts on the so called „dramatism“ in 1945. Goffmann saw theatre as a metaphor, while Burke believed life itself was in fact theatre.

Dramaturgy: Communication out of character

In the field of art performers may communicate out of character on purpose or by accident. Backstage communication out of character might include a certain treatment of the absent, for example a derogatory discussion of the absent audience. Frontstage communication out of character can include team collusion between team members during the peformance, which doesn’t endager the performance, or realigning actions between members of opposing teams. An example might be unofficial grumbling.

Drama „management“

Impression management means to work on maintaining the desired impression. „It is composed of defensive and protective techniques. Defensive techniques are employed before an interaction starts“. They include dramaturgical loyality, which means to work to stay loyal to the team and performance itself, dramaturgical discipline, which means to dedicate oneself to the performance without losing oneself in it, and dramaturgical circumspection, which means minimizing risks by prepairing for expected problems. Important is to avoid situations where a mistake can occur, to chose the right audience, length and venue of performance.

The Paradigm

Most successful dramas contain three parts or acts, the so called paradigm: In the first act, also called exposition, something happenes that interrupts the everyday life of the protagonist. The second act, the so called confrontation, is the action itself. The third act, the so called denouement, at the end of the drama resolves the action: A loving pair comes together or a fight is being ended.


Sources: Wikipedia [Art] | Wikipedia [Sociology] | JomiJobal on Youtube | 1st May 2017

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