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Dramatism

Theory of Public Communication
by

Stephen Ogden

on 14 November 2014

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Transcript of Dramatism

Kenneth Burke
(1897-1993)
DRAMATISM
Assumptions of Dramatism
Exercises:
Assumptions give a brief guideline of a theorist's beliefs
1.) Humans are animals who use symbols
1. Use the pentad to analyze Obama and current economic conditions.
PENTAD
Act:

What is done by a person
Agency:

Means/method used to accomplish act
Scene:

Provides the context surrounding the act.
Purpose:

The goal or why the act was done.
Agent:

Person(s) performing act
2. Apply any element of Dramatism to classroom life.
Self Taught
Symbol System
Victimage
Way in which we attempt to purge guilt
2. Scapegoating: Placing blame on some sacrificial vessel. Actor is purged of guilt.
1. Mortification: Self blame and when one apologizes for wrongdoing
Redemption
Rejection of the unclean and a return to a new order after the guilt has been temporarily purged.
Key in the redemption phase is the fact that guilt is only temporarily relieved, through the redeemer or any other method.
Guilt does return once order/hierarchy has been re-established
Attitude:
Manner in which an actor positions self relative to others.
Assumptions
Burke's thinking is so complex that it is often difficult to come up with assumptions.
It is best to just sum it up by providing the grounding for the topic (for the most part)
Dramatism Introduction
Conceptualizes life as a drama; acts performed by players
•Analyze rhetorical choices
and responses to choices
•Models and illuminates relationships
•Fits into a genre
Some of what we do is motivated by our animal nature, and some by symbols
Referring back to chapter 2 on semiotic- the study of signs.
Example: We use nonverbal symbols in everyday life. Symbols are a type of language
Sign language- A language in which people solely rely on symbols as a way of communication.
2.) Language and symbols form a critically important system for humans
Similar to the context of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. "It is difficult to think about the concepts or objects without words for them"
People are restricted (to an extent) in what they can conceive by the limits of their language.
When people use their language, they are used by it as well.
Burke asserts that words, thoughts and actions have extremely close connections with one another.
Example points: Without language and symbols there would be no communication. Applying to communication in plays and drama, without the dialogue, there would be no play.
3.) Humans are choice makers
Burke suggests that behaviorism has to be rejected because it conflicts with human choice
People form their own opinions based on their personal choice
Like the example in the book, everyday we have to make a decision and these decisions are driven by what people are saying. Whether it is the political campaign or what your peers say is good for lunch, we are impacted to make certain decisions.
Dramatism as New Rhetoric
Burke vs. Aristotle
Identification
Substance
Division
Consubstantiation
Process of Guilt and Redemption
Guilt
Order of Hierarchy
The Negative
Integration
Communication Tradition
Rhetorical/Semiotic/Critical
Communication Context
Public/Rhetorical
Approach to Knowing
Interpretive/Critical
Critique
Scope
Utility
Parsimony
Heurism
Dramatism Introduction
Literature is “equipment for living” - Kenneth Burke
How people relate to lived experiences
Life requirements:
Actor
Scenes
Action
Means for the action
Purpose
Presented By:
Stephanie Shober
Calarina Blount
Brandon Moultrie
Stephen Ogden
Catherine Santos
Full transcript