‘Performers and Portrayers’

Shelly Kreiczer-Levy and Ronit Donyets-Kedar, ‘Better Left Forgotten: An Argument Against Treating Some Social Media and Digital Assets as Inheritance in an Era of Platform Power’, 84 Brooklyn Law Review 703 (2019). In 1956, sociologist Erving Goffman wrote his now-classic text, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Consciously or not, Goffman posited, people are invariably actors, their lives spent staging and arranging a string of performances across time and space. Were A and B to meet for a walk, their social interaction would comprise complex impression management techniques with each simultaneously actor, and audience, to the other. Goffman’s contributions were neither startling then nor dated now. ‘All the world [was already] a stage’ to a 17th century playwright, and as Rush admonished in the late 20th century – Limelight; Moving Pictures (1981) – ‘we are merely players, performers and portrayers’. Rush continued, casting the limelight as ‘the universal dream for those who wish to seem’, by contrast to its incompatibility to a life of authenticity … (more)

[Katheleen Guzman, JOTWELL, 16 February]

(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply