-A method of analyzing collections of “communication” to determine underlying "worldviews" that people hold, judging by the messages they use
-Worldview - the totality of one’s values, beliefs, ideas, and images of reality
-The language used by groups of people or communication (e.g., story in a movie) reveals and even reinforces their worldviews.
-These worldviews create a collective social reality (e.g., It's time to free Libya).
Symbolic convergence theory
-Based on Bales' research on small group (empathic) communication to account for group cohesiveness
-At moments of tension (e.g., being uncomfortable, unfamiliar with each other, topic, issue), groups often become very dramatic, sharing stories, jokes or fantasy themes
-Symbolic convergence occurs when groups create rhetorical visions of their social world and what it is like to be in that world.
-e.g., When a group of people get together, one individual first talks about non-task, personal, social events and situations like birthdays, soccer games, travels, weather, illness, and the like
- then, others in the group share their stories that eventually lead to a collective sense of sharing things together,
enlarging common ground (maintenance roles – e.g., who we are), which results in greater cohesiveness and productivity (e.g., the movie, The Breakfast Club)
The Breakfast Club
– 5 high school teenagers with different backgrounds spend a Saturday in detention center together with lots of tension/arguments in the beginning, eventually open up, reveal deepest secrets one by one (pressures and strained relationships with their parents), and come to realize that they are all more than their respective stereotypes. They form friendships and relationships.
People's visions of reality are formed largely by ___ that are created in interaction with other people