Angela Stalcup's Communication Studies Blog

Home » COMM 613 » Impression Management Theory for Communication Uh-Ohs

Impression Management Theory for Communication Uh-Ohs


In this podcast I use my own communications gaffe, a snarky email forwarded to the wrong person, to illustrate how to use Erving Goffman’s theory of Impression Management to navigate and hopefully avoid communication gaffes, particularly with electronic communication.

Goffman proposes that interpersonal communication (and by extension organizational communication) can be compared to a drama on a stage. How have you presented yourself as an “actor” in a communication”performance?” How would viewing your electronic communication as occuring “on stage” influence your communication choices?

My discussion of Goffman is based on an essay by Catrin Johansson, “On Goffman: Researching Relations with Erving Goffman as Pathfinder,” found in the book Public Relations and Social Theory: Key Figures and Concepts by Øyvind Ihlen, Betteke van Ruler, and Magnus Fredricksson.

For those interested in the APA citation:

Johansson, C. (2009) On Goffman: Researching relations with Erving Goffman as pathfinder. In Ihlen, Ø., van Ruler, B., & Fredrickson, M. (Eds.), Public relations and social theory: Key figures and concepts (pp. 119-140). New York, NY: Routledge.

Music courtesy of Nenad Simic via



  1. Jenna says:

    Great podcast, Angela! Reminded me of NPR. I like that we had similar topics but were able to use two different theoretical lenses. I look fore

  2. Jenna says:

    *forward to reading more about Goffman.

  3. […] COMM 613: Impression Management Theory for Communication Uh-Ohs […]

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