Erving Goffman and the performed self

2 minutes

If, as Shakespeare suggested, all the world’s a stage, do we have a ‘true self’?

The 20th-century Canadian-American sociologist Erving Goffman believed that we adapt to roles – lover, customer, worker – based on circumstance, and are constantly concerned with how we’re appearing to others. This short animation explains why Goffman’s view of humanity left no room for a ‘true self’ – an actor behind all the roles we play.

Video by BBC Radio 4

Script: Nigel Warburton

Animation: Andrew Park

Video/Evolution

Flashing together: when fireflies meet LEDs, the result is a beautiful lightshow

2 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Knowledge

Teaching philosophy at school isn’t just good pedagogy – it helps to safeguard society

5 minutes

Video/Internet & Communication

A classic film on communication finds renewed meaning in the age of memes and emojis

22 minutes

Idea/Pharmaceuticals

Solving the heroin overdose mystery: how small doses can kill

Shepard Siegel

Essay/Social Psychology

Microaggressions?

Prejudice remains a huge social evil but evidence for harm caused by microaggression is incoherent, unscientific and weak

Scott O Lilienfeld

Video/Life Stages

Harlem’s over-55s synchronised swimming team thinks ageing is better in the pool

4 minutes

Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

Cognitive dissonance helps old dogs with their new tricks

Suzanne Cope

volume_up
play_arrow
pause
Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

How totalism works

The brainwashing methods of isolation, engulfment and fear can lead anyone to a cult. I should know – I was in one

Alexandra Stein

Video/Love & Friendship

From a 77-year relationship to a first date – a brisk, cheery survey of love

3 minutes