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Symbolic Convergence Theory
Transcript of Symbolic Convergence Theory
Amy C. Pack
Bormann graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1949.
He earned his Masters and Doctorate degrees from the University of Iowa, finishing in 1953.
He then taught at the Universities of South Dakota, Eastern Illinois, and Florida State before coming to the University of Minnesota in 1959.
He is currently professor emeritus in the Department of Speech-Communication in the College of Liberal Arts.
Mr. Bormann is the pioneer of symbolic convergence and has written numerous articles on the effectiveness of the theory.
So.... What is Symbolic Convergence Theory?
The theory can explain meaning, motives, and values between a group with a common experience.
Scholars have decided that SCT can have a direct influence on humans without them knowing or realizing why.
It is based on the idea that members in a group must exchange fantasies in order to form a cohesive group
This theory offers a promising method of looking at small group interaction and cohesiveness.
When people communicate, their minds try to unite with the other person they are communicating with. This is especially common in small groups or focus groups.
It's NOT that kinda fantasy....
In this theory, a fantasy does not refer to fictitious stories or erotic desires. Fantasies are stories or jokes that contain or reveal emotion. Fantasies includes events from a group member's past, or an event that may occur in the future. Fantasy themes help to create a relaxed environment.
Make it make sense!
The stories, jokes and metaphors a group uses are often the glue that holds them together. It says a lot about what they value and why they associate. You can see this if you look for it.
For example, sometimes you'll be in a group and suddenly the whole dynamic changes, the pace picks up, people get louder their energy is flowing everywhere. When this happens take note of what triggered it and what people said and did. What were they talking about? This is called a fantasy chain reaction.
How do we apply this to the field of nursing?
We walk into a patients room and introduce ourselves and start simple conversations to find common ground. We ask them "Where are you from?" "Do you have children?". These are great ways of "breaking the ice". Talking about ourselves, using self-disclosure, is not only an important part of developing trust and cohesion with a patient, but serves as a fantasy theme.
Why do some fantasy themes spark a chain of sharing while other fail?
When issues of power, sexism, role conflict, social rejection and other touchy topics come into play, group members often find the direct confrontation of such issues to be unsettling. These fantasy chains may begin, but often do not last very long.
SCT helps to identify the symbolic reality that group members share. .
We all share the same meaning for many words and nonverbal symbols, there are certain words or phrases or nonverbal symbols that may have special meaning for members of your particular group. These verbal and nonverbal symbols could be already existing symbols that you adopted, or they could be symbols that were created specifically by or for your group.