Personal history[ edit ] He was born on May 5 in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , and graduated from Peabody High School , where his friend Malcolm Cowley was also a student. He would later marry her sister Elizabeth Batterham in and have two sons, Michael and Anthony. Burke served as the editor of the modernist literary magazine The Dial in , and as its music critic from Kenneth himself was an avid player of the piano. He received the Dial Award in for distinguished service to American literature.
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It is a theory that compares life to a drama. This provides a direct route from human motivation to human relationships. It is a strategy that intends to help others view life, not live it, and be able to compare each social unit or activity as one of the five elements of a drama.
How do we explain human action? Motivations behind human activities? The Dramatism Theory uses a five-pointed star to help separate the key elements that exist within this idea. What Are the 5 Points of Dramatism Theory? Burke uses a parallel extension of the six questions that should be asked in an interview: who, what, where, when, and how. This brought him to the 5 elements that should be in every drama: an act, a scene, an agent, an agency, and the purpose.
This corresponds with the decisions that are made in life that correspond to motivation and relationships. The Act: This describes what was done. It is the motivation behind the decisions that are being made. The Scene: This describes where the event occurs. It has an influence on the decision that was made.
The Agent: This is a description of the decision-maker. The Agency: This is a detailed description of the methodology that was used to implement the decision that was made.
Various methods can be incorporated into this point, including apologetics, messaging, or storytelling.
The Purpose: Why did the decision need to be made in the first place? This leads to the three key concepts that are associated with dramatism theory. Dramatistic Pentad. This is the instrument that is used to create the set of principles, either relational or functional, to understand the motive behind the decisions that are made.
It incorporates the 5 points of dramatism and provides a complete statement behind each element of the decision0-making process.
When two people overlap with the substance of what is being offered, this concept is used to distinguish them. Because there is overlap in every human relationship, Burke argues that identifaction is impossible to ignore. It offers rhetoric, can be falsified, and be reflective of any ambiguities that are present within the substance that is being offered.
The root of all rhetoric lies in guilt. Burke sees human activity as a method to purge oneself of guilt, which often occurs through public speaking. Other emotions are associated into this concept, such as shame, anxiety, or disgust. There is a hierarchy associated with these points and concepts through the power that is available within each relationship. The dramatic process must have structure for it to reflect the human condition. The structure of each relationship helps to determine the social awareness of the individual and how they will react in any given situation.
The husband kisses his wife goodbye as he heads out the door for work. Does he kiss the next woman he meets as he gets on the subway? Not likely, since the structure of the relationship is different.
Through communication, we each make decisions. The Three Aspects of Communication in Dramatism Theory Burke offers three types of communication that are used to form social hierarchies within society.
The first is superiority. This communication occurs when one individual feels that they have a moral or ethical control over a specific situation. The second is inferiority. This communication occurs when there is a concession to another that they are, in fact, superior in some way. It may occur when there are differences or similarities in opinion.
It can occur between different socioeconomic classes. It occurs when both may feel superior or both may feel inferior. Dramatism Theory does an excellent job of explaining the motivation behind decisions and then actions which follow. Just like a script, when the parts are all there, the outcome can become predictable.
Dramatism Theory Explained
Cohrs Spring One of my favorite rhetorical theorists, Kenneth Burke has done wonders for communication. Not only is he proficient in communication theory, but he is also known for creative writing, social psychology, and linguistic analysis. His most noted theory, in which I will be discussing throughout this paper, is that of dramatism. Burke has done amazing things to shape what we know about communication theory. According to Littlejohn , anyone who is writing about communication today, in some way is restating something that Burke had already created.
Burke's Five Elements of Dramatism
It reveals the nuances and complications of language as symbolic action, which in turn, opens up our perspective. According to Burke, "the act" of the Pentad is which "names what took place, in thought or deed. According to Burke, "the scene" is defined as "the background of an act, the situation in which it occurred. Burke defines the "agent" as "what person or kind of person performed the act. Burke defines the "agency" as "what instrument or instruments he used. This is associate with the motive behind the behavior, which is the main focus of the analysis.
dramatism (rhetoric and composition)
It is a theory that compares life to a drama. This provides a direct route from human motivation to human relationships. It is a strategy that intends to help others view life, not live it, and be able to compare each social unit or activity as one of the five elements of a drama. How do we explain human action? Motivations behind human activities? The Dramatism Theory uses a five-pointed star to help separate the key elements that exist within this idea. What Are the 5 Points of Dramatism Theory?