This chapter reports on the interaction dynamics of a workplace exercise group for beginners. Dramaturgical stress occurred here as individuals who already knew each other as competent colleagues felt embarrassed about encountering one another in this low ability exercise group. To resolve this role conflict, participants sought to define themselves as familiar strangers (which they were not) through minimal interaction in non-binding relationships. This was achieved through three types of facework strategy: not only the defensive and protective kinds that Goffman identified as saving individual faces, but also collective strategies, which sought to repair the face of the whole group. Paradoxically, therefore, in attempting to deny their “groupness,” these actors actually displayed and reinforced their solidarity as a performance team.
Rossing, H. and Scott, S. (2014), "Familiar Strangers: Facework Strategies in Pursuit of Non-Binding Relationships in a Workplace Exercise Group", Revisiting Symbolic Interaction in Music Studies and New Interpretive Works (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 42), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 161-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-239620140000042009Download as .RIS
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