Performance and persona: Goffman and Jung's approaches to professional identity applied to public relations

Johanna Fawkes

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


The performance of work is the central theme of sociologist Erving Goffman's key work, The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life (1959), which considers, inter alia, how individuals and groups construct and attempt to control the impression they make on others. Carl Jung's (1875-1961) relevant concept here is Persona, which in the first half of life allows an individual to develop a public profile, and in the second half can be a constraint, inhibiting creativity and other unlived desires. In this sense, the performance becomes a mask, concealing and imprisoning the individual or group in the dark.The paper, which is conceptual, summarizes contemporary approaches to professional identity before introducing Goffman, who is often mentioned in this context, and Jung, who is not. Together these two scholars offer insights into the interior and exterior aspects of identity which is here applied to public relations, raising questions, not only about the identity of public relations as a profession, but also about its role in generating a promotional culture with effects on social identity generally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRepresenting PR
Subtitle of host publicationimages, identities, and innovations
EditorsDavid McKie, Ferran Laluezal Jordi Xifra
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventInternational Public Relations Conference - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 02 Jul 201303 Jul 2013

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0363-8111


ConferenceInternational Public Relations Conference

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Performance and persona: Goffman and Jung's approaches to professional identity applied to public relations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this