Asylums: le istituzioni totali, di Erving Goffman (pdf) – Pages·· Mentira y confianza: una mirada desde la dramaturgia de Erving Goffman. Os escritos de Victor Turner referentes à antropologia da performance são por um lado, o pensamento de Walter Benjamin e a dramaturgia de Bertolt Brecht, e, .. While Goffman is interested in the theater in everyday life, Turner focuses on. Get this from a library! Interacionismo simbólico e dramaturgia: a sociologia de Goffman. [Jordão Horta Nunes].
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University of Sao Paulo – Brazil. Conversely, this theater may be of special interest for purposes of rethinking some of the main propositions which have arisen on the borders between anthropology and performance. Considering the specificity of “the practice which calculates the place from which one views things” of this theater, several topics present themselves as guidelines for the text which follows: I will focus this experience in order to explore the reaches and limits of certain formulations in anthropology of performance.
The approach I intend to develop here has been announced in Victor Turner’s discussion a, p. According to Turner, while discussions centered on competence tend to privilege the underlying grammar of cultural manifestations, performance studies demonstrate a marked interest in structurally stray elements: Comprehension of social life oftentimes breaks forth at moments when everyday roles are suspended Turner, c, p.
Yet this theater in sugarcane fields and on truck wagons is also suggestive. In fact, it may allow us to rethink a number of questions that emerge on the borders of performance and anthropology.
Keeping in mind the specificity of the way in which this particular form of theater “calculates the place where things are viewed” Barthes,p.
An observation may be made: I thus invite my readers to the theater, which is about to begin in dramatic style, “falling in the cane”. The concept of “social drama”, elaborated by Victor Turner adeals with a process involving four moments: This concept is inspired by Arnold Van Gennep’s model of rites of passage, which presupposes three moments: Liminal experience refers particularly to the second moment.
Experience, in this case, is strikingly unusual: In both cases, an attempt is made to understand the unfolding of a process which begins with rupture and irruption of social chaos. Chaos, in both cases, serves to celebrate cosmos. Le mort saisit le vif”the dead seize the living” Bourdieu, In the second case, one celebrates signs of a cosmos that is prefigured not so much by the shattered world of peasantry, as by the emerging world of triumphant capitalism, in the bosom of which may be detected, in city and country, a working class in formation.
Scenes from everyday life on truck wagons and in sugarcane fields evoke the drama of “falling in the cane”. Yet, this land is no longer a place on which to make one’s home. Rain turns into a sign of hunger instead of abundance. And trucks and buses are unable to make it out to the cane fields without sinking in mud or sand. Thus, for laborers who are paid according to how much sugarcane they cut, rain becomes ominous: The ludic exclamation that I heard on a truck one day, when the rain took our group by surprise in the wee hours of morning on a sugarcane field, irrupted with the energy of everyday surrealism: The opening of food pots, cans, and containers was also accompanied by expressions of shock, much of which was fake or staged as comedy of the absurd.
You despicable can full of holes! No wonder I’m always hungry! The compound word signals the experience of estrangement, or even the breaking of ties with the land. While peasants in the North of Minas Gerais state and other parts of Brazil encounter or remember having encountered the products of their labor and their relations with the land in the food produced on “lands of labor” terras de trabalho Garcia Jr.
On old trucks other uncanny aspects of everyday life manifest themselves. While giving way on a narrow road to a new Ford truck loaded with sugar cane, someone in the group yells out as if addressing the very truck wagon where he’s seated: Don’t you see that this is a new truck?! It wants to get me! The reprimand that I once received from a work supervisor evoked this sort of landscape: If you’re going to cut cane you have to get angry!
Callused hands, with calluses even on fists and backs of hands, forming “murundu”, show the marks of a body which must deal with “wild cane”.
In the struggle with cane fields, a strange complicity is also revealed between cane stalks and their cutters. Interruptions of work, or trabalho tripaliumwere marked by sucking “honey” from sugarcane. Yet, here, the extraordinary reveals itself as an everyday experience. When leaving or entering the city, hanging from the backs of trucks, young men and boys enjoyed catching couples and pedestrians off guard, as ghosts.
In these good-natured scarecrows and hauntings might one detect an irruption of the visceral experience of a logical scandal? If the image of a body without a soul is manifested in the figure of a scarecrow, the inverted image of a soul without a body flashes up as a ghost.
Interacionismo simbólico e dramaturgia : a sociologia de Goffman (Book, ) 
In so far as shocking experience is a part of everyday life, there is nothing dramatugia about living in a state of shock. On the dramathrgia of the ethnography of such drama, I risk three comments. In the first place, a simple remark may be made. In second place, a certain restlessness may here be expressed. These studies were mainly concerned with the question regarding how to classify or define such social characters.
Nonetheless, this work implicitly found inspiration in narratives that revealed affinities with Victor Turner’s model of “social drama”. While some looked to the tragedy of peasantry resulting from “rupture” of a way of life caused by agro-industrial expansion, others revealed their optimism regarding the “stages” of the historical process and its “purifying” outcome, as seen in the emergence of the proletariat. Does the model of social drama lead one to focus on elements of disorder only in so far as they contribute to revitalize cultural schemes or grammars?
A third comment may also be translated into a question. We are dealing with experiences of daily astoundment. More on this follows. The ethnography of goffamn everyday experience allows us to rethink a second question raised by the anthropology of performance: Here, the subjunctivity that Victor Turner d, p.
Social dramatudgia presents itself as aesthetic performance as well. The relationship is condensed. The liminal state attributed to the actor during performance, as described by Schechner a, p. In an attempt to dramaaturgia his approach from that of Erving Goffman, Victor Turner a, p. While Goffman is interested in the theater in everyday life, Turner focuses on moments of interruption and extraordinary instances: Turner observed the meta-theater of social life.
That which is produced on trucks and in cane fields is closely related to the “estrangement effects” Verfremdungseffekt that Bertolt Brecht sought in theater. It is a question of impeding the naturalization of everyday life.
According to Victor Turner, carnivals irrupt as extraordinary moments, or interruptions of daily life. In the world of industrial capitalism, they particularly interrupt work. Such moments of “folly” create contrast in regard to day-to-day existence. Here we are not dealing merely with manifestations of folly which break the normality of everyday life. The working day itself is seen as derangement.
Interacionismo simbólico e dramaturgia : a sociologia de Goffman
Walter Benjamin b, p. Here is a key to an everyday sort of meta-theater. As trucks and dramaturyia fields turn into stages of Homo ludenswe may also there be astounded by the exuberant manifestations of Homo performans Turner, a, p. When trucks leave the city for the sugarcane fields, young men and boys in the group felt special pleasure in provoking pedestrians on sidewalks and streets, at bus stops and on their way to work in the city.
At the same time, as truck wagons turn into stage, these play actors become myriads of characters: Arab sheiksApache Indians, cangaceirossaints, bandits, mayors, penitents, boys, cowboysetc. In such “presentations of self in everyday life”, an estranged self presents itself as “not not-me”.
Here is a self seeing oneself being seen by another, as other. But they may have not perceived the govfman of this theater and the Brechtian effect thereby produced: Victor Turner c produces a methodological “deviation” as concerns the consecrated procedures of Radcliffe-Brown and other representatives of British Social Anthropology: In order to capture the intensity of social life, one must understand it from its margins.
As one who calculates risks, and learns to expect the unexpected, the anthropologist is attentive to the movement of social life, and to the ways in which societies, while recreating cosmos from chaos, play with danger and undermine their own doings.
Experiences of liminal states can stimulate estrangement effects in regard to everyday life.
This is more than mere mirroring of reality. The subjunctivity that characterizes a performatic, liminal state, emerges as the effect of a “magic mirror” Turner, b, p. Such experiences are propitious for ludicrous and dramaturgis associations. Altered or even grotesque figures become preeminent. What is seen to be real may be ruptured, revealing itself as unfinished. Suppressed tension is released.
Theater of “bóias-frias”: rethinking anthropology of performance
Deep-seated cultural layers and sedimentations of social life surface. Truck wagons were places of transformation. Some of these associations are highly revealing. I can give two examples. While passing by a cattle truck, one of the boys, in jest, stood up and cried out: Life history becomes montage. Substituted by cattle in the country, they substituted cattle on trucks.
During breaks in their work in the cane fields, young men would sometimes daydream: Then you would see. Here is a second example.