Goffman, Parsons, and the Negational Self

James J. Chriss
Erving Goffman’s emphasis on impression management in everyday life means that for the most part persons offer only partial or incomplete glimpses of themselves. Indeed, under specifiable conditions self-presentations may take the form of a negational self. If negational selves exist at the person or individual level, then they must also exist at the collective level (that is, if we are to take seriously such notions as the social mind, collective representations, or even culture). Understandings of how this negational self appears and is produced at various analytical levels (micro, meso, and macro) can be anchored via a conceptual schema which merges Goffman’s own identity typology with the three-world model of Jürgen Habermas by way of Talcott Parsons.

negational self; indentity; Goffman; Parsons; Habermas; self; me and I; three worlds theory

Full text available in PDF: Academicus-MMXV-11-011-031.pdf

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): http://dx.medra.org/10.7336/academicus.2015.11.01

Creative Commons License

Goffman, Parsons, and the Negational Self by James J. Chriss is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at