Gender Advertisements by Erving Goffman

By Erving Goffman

Publication by way of Goffman, Erving

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And there is a current vernacular use, referring to something that an individual might make, dig, or dislike. The scenes this paper has been concerned with are of a different order. In actuallife as we wend our way through our day we pass into and out of immediate perception range of sequences of others; fleeting opportunity for viewing also occurs when they pass uso In metropolitan circumstances this means that we will be momentary onlookers of those whom we cannot identify biographically through name or appearance, that is, that we will catch glimpses of courses of action of strangers.

1U1OVA ACCUnIOH' 13 6 Here and elsewhere in connection with the role of fingers (see pictures 295-320), I draw directly on observations made by Michi Ishida, to whom I give thanks, (continued) 29 30 GENDER ADVERTISEMENTS 'DHI.. \ iJl\'1 W\. 11' ' \\1 Eyelil' dito .... Hll' I.. h ,hol'" 'Of'"h o,t"h rrtK·""~IIJ.. tn. I b" mU.. 1 IIliu,: Ih .. t .. II" 1 .. cu a 8UUU .. lIn:: the good things of a Ken. e, providing only that one can be fashioned. This arrangement seems widely represented in advertisements, in part, no doubt, to facilitate interpretability at a glance.

First, ads (along with cartoons and other one-shot drawings) are intentionally choreographed to be unambiguous about matters that uncontrived scenes might weil be uninforming about to strangers. Second, scenes contrived for photographing (just as the ones drawn in comics) can be shot from any angle that the cameraman chooses, the subjects themselves splayed out to allow an unobstructed view; these are two liberties that a person viewing a live scene cannot take. Finally, short of engaging in voyeuristic activity, a real person is very considerably restricted as to the sorts of live scenes he will be allowed to glimpse from whatever angle, for his presence in a place always requires social warrant.

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