Paper Description

To require class members to pay more attention to their behavior in everyday interpersonal activities than is normally the case, and to see their behavior through an uncommon, unconventional lens, so that they can become more aware of and more able to understand and analyze their behavior in everyday interpersonal activities.

Your paper will present a Goffmanian analysis of how people (apparently) unconsciously communicate their identities while interacting with others. You will do so by arguing for at least four of Goffman’s empirical claims about the nonverbal communication of the self. (You cannot argue for the first two claims, though you will need to keep these two in mind throughout your paper.) That is, you will choose four of Goffman’s claims and yourself claim that they are true. Then you will provide evidence that supports each of these claims. Your evidence must be observations of ordinary, face-to-face interactions that you observed in person or that you participated in. The data you use to support your claims can all come from one single, extended interaction event, or from a number of very different interactions. Finally, you will provide your reasoning for believing that the evidence you provide clearly supports the claim you have chosen.

You do not need to cite any scholarly source other than my lectures and handouts in order to complete the paper. However, if you do decide to cite an outside source, you must use APA format for in-text citations and for citing these works on your References page. Also, you do not need to indicate that you have used my thoughts and words in a References page. However, in your paper, you do need to put my words in quotes and identify which of Goffman’s claims a quote relates to (e.g., (Nelson, Claim 1)). (You need to cite my name, and not Goffman’s, because I created the list of claims in the handouts, based on my analysis of Goffman’s writings. PLEASE NOTE: You must not use the names of the people you mention in your paper. However, you must use a pseudonym (fake name). In other words, do not refer to the people you talk about in your paper by using a letter (“person X”) or number (“person 1”) – doing so is very confusing. You are allowed, and even encouraged, to write your paper in the first person. Finally, excluding your title and reference pages, your paper must be at least seven full pages. If you cannot write at least seven pages in order to argue for four of the claims, you are not writing the paper correctly.

I will base my grading on my assessment of your papers clarity, cohesiveness, accuracy in describing and applying Goffman’s concepts, the relevance of your evidence and the amount of detail you provide about it, as well as the logic and persuasiveness of your reasoning when arguing that your data does indeed support the claim you are trying to establish.