Front. The actor’s front, as labeled by Goffman, is the part of the individual’s performance which functions to define the situation for the audience. It is the image or impression he or she gives off to the audience. A social front can also be thought of as a script. Certain social scripts tend to become institutionalized in terms of the stereotyped expectations it contains. Certain situations or scenarios have social scripts that suggest how the actor should behave or interact in that situation. If the individual takes on a task or role that is new to him, he or she may find that there are already several well-established fronts among which he must choose .
More recently, the symbolic interactionist perspective has assumed a prominent role in the sociological approach to identity. Contemporary versions of symbolic interactionism examine how a person ’ s identity is affected by the elements of social structure, in particular the social positions or roles that one plays and the meanings and expectations associated with those roles (Stets and Burke 2003). Role identities may differ in number, prominence, salience, and value to an individual, and sociologists have conducted a great deal of research on these aspects of role identity. For example, a greater number of role identities have been associated with greater resistance to stress and more positive mental health, particularly when those identities are voluntary or freely chosen ones rather than when they are conferred or obligatory.