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Civil Attention


Definition: Civil attention is a concept developed by sociologist Erving Goffman in his dramaturgical approach to social interaction. It is defined as creating the impression of being involved in a role when in fact someone is not.
Students use a variety of techniques (such as pretending to take notes, laughing when others laugh, or nodding their head in agreement at appropriate times) to maintain the impression that they are paying attention when in fact they are involved in other activities such as daydreaming or texting.
Sociology Dictionary: C Index

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