Goffman's "On Face Work" is an analysis of ritual elements in social interaction. In this analytic piece of work, Goff man explores interaction as a ritual process. The work is separated into distinct sections that effectively enable the Goffman to wade through this complex social topic. Abstract, introduction and acknowledgment form the first part of the work.
This analytical paper comprises of the outline below; the first section explores the combined effect of the rule of self-respect and the rule of considerateness. The second section has definition of face-work in social interaction. This contains both the definition of face and face- and an analysis of the basic kinds of face-work. Goffman then takes an analysis of the ritual roles of self in the overall process of interaction from the perspective of face-work. The nature of the ritual order and analysis of ritual elements in social interaction are dissected. Last, Goffman presents the combined effect of the rule of self-respect and the rule of considerateness in the overall process of social interaction.
The dominant themes of Goffman's "On Face Work - an analysis of ritual elements in social interaction" are social interaction and human behavior. Goffman takes the analysis of these two themes from a dramaturgical perspective. Audience and a variety of social interaction that determine behavior determine the changes in the face. According to Goffman (1967), "in ordinary circumstances, maintenance of face is a condition of interaction, not its objective."
Human behavior and interaction constitute pivotal elements of face work. The author therefore believes in the face as a social construct of interaction that is neither permanent nor inherent in an individual. The paper attempts to expound on the role conceptual frames play in structuring individual's perception of the society. Goffman's work is on organization of experiences that guide actions of an individual.