By Athanasia Chalari (auth.)
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Extra resources for Approaches to the Individual: The Relationship between Internal and External Conversation
He suggests that the individual can externalise this inner life, or elements of it, according to certain unwritten regulations. These regulations and formulae are forms that operate outside the individual and her inner life. They can thus be described as external forms. In order to be more precise, we should link these forms within society: individuals must follow such external forms in order to externalise or verbalise elements of their inner life (the prime example of this would be the formulation and use of language).
Even if Goffman does not deﬁne the notion of secrets at the level of the individual, we can understand that it is impossible to categorise types of secrets that a team can keep which the individual does not; thus, if Goffman identiﬁes different kinds of secrets within teams, those same types also apply to individuals. Therefore, as Goffman explores the notion of secrets through human groups and teams, we shall attempt to relate his approach to the individual. Moreover, several individuals are involved in a team.
Goffman’s purpose was ‘to discover the structures [and forms] exhibited in face-to-face interaction – as well as [to investigate] the sources of its orderliness’. He wanted to demonstrate the signiﬁcance of matters which had formerly been regarded as being of ‘little consequence’, namely to analyse ‘what people do when they are in the company of others’ (Williams, 1998: 151–152). 1 Social and private4 Simmel’s main contribution to understanding the relationship between internal and external conversation is made plain by this quotation: The individual who lives from his inner resources, who can answer for his actions only if they are directed by his own conviction, is supposed to orient his will toward the purpose of others.
Approaches to the Individual: The Relationship between Internal and External Conversation by Athanasia Chalari (auth.)