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Being a member of a team - importance

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Communication Studies 200C Assignment # 1 February 3, 2004 In "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life," Erving Goffman refers to a "performance team" or "team" as "any set of individuals who co-operate in staging a single routine."1 He provides many examples of teams who present themselves differently among different people, such as an audience or in front of each member of the team. His examples of teams vary from husband and wife to groups of teachers. I will examine the illustrations he had provided and include my own examples along with his theories of how teams act among diverse situations. My examples will include experiences from my life including athletic, academic and work related teams that I have had to form and conduct in certain ways in front of different audiences. Goffman was correct in that teams, whether it be a team of one or many, alter their performances when before an audience and each other. Although his examples may seem dated, many of his theories still hold true today, while my own examples will relate to recent times. ...read more.


In every team, members are dependent on one another by relying on the good demeanour and behaviour of his or her teammates. Goffman's example discusses formal statuses and rank in a social establishment.4 I will look upon an example of myself working on a project with a team in a business presentation. During the presentation, each member of the team has to rely on the other members. Everyone's part must be completed and all have to be ready for the presentation about to be performed. Goffman's theory of teammate dependency can still be perceived today but with different examples then what he had envisioned. Furthermore, a member of a team can force upon his or her teammates to take a specific aim and it is only because he is part of the team that he can cause this trouble. This presentation that my team had to make could have be dramatically altered if a problematic teammate is intended to do so. When I was an Umpire for baseball games a few years ago, I was required to work with a partner as a team. ...read more.


Goffman talks about this in the sense that a team should never have public disagreements because it hinders the cohesive union that the team perceives and embarrasses the members of the team. Goffman uses an example similar to mine, as teachers should never disagree or contradict one another in the presence of students.5 Teams are formed in many circumstances from school to work to sports, but in all cases the performance of the team in the basis of the reality that the team puts forward. Goffman professes that the audience base for the performance will dictate how members of a team will conduct themselves. Teammates must and will perform differently when in front of each other and when in front of an audience. Being part of a team enables one to cause problems and induce others to change their perceptions of what the team wishes to accomplish. The reality that a team is united will be no more if teammates contradict each other within the presence of an audience. Contradictions and arguments should be done in privacy in order to maintain the reality of unity. Goffman's theories that were ascertained in his book are still well suited for today's world, but his examples were transformed into my own to represent more modern times. ...read more.

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