Symbolic Convergence Theory: History, Description, Structure, & Example. Examples of Symbolic such as Code Words, Phrases, Slogans, and Gestures.
Table of contents:
- What is Symbolic Convergence Theory?
- History of the Symbolic Convergence Theory?
- Description of Symbolic Convergence Theory.
- History, and Example
1. What is Symbolic Convergence Theory?
According to Symbolic Convergence Theory, People share common fantasies and visions and these collections of individuals are merged into a cohesive group. SCT presents an explanation for the appearance of a group’s cohesiveness, consisting of shared emotions, motives, and meanings. Symbolic Convergence Theory consists of three words such as symbolic, convergence, and theory. Group members cooperatively create and sustain a shared consciousness including shared meaning through interaction.
1.1 What is Symbolic?
Symbolic is serving as a symbol that represents or expresses something else such as an idea, an action, quality without using words such as Code Words, Phrases, Slogans, and Gestures.
Example of Symbolic:
Code Words: What does FF: AC stands for?
FF: AC stands for “Final Fantasy: Advent Children”. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is a 2005 Japanese computer-animated science fantasy action drama film.
For example, K.L = Kuala Lumpur, K.G= Kilogram, A.C= Air Conditioner
Phrases: Friday becomes a cool, wet afternoon.
Slogans: Think different is an advertising slogan used from 1997 to 2002 by Apple Computer, Inc.
Gestures: The common thumb up sign represents something approved and accepted.
1.2 What is Convergence?
Convergence means forming a new unified whole or evolving into one through coming together two or more things. Convergence comes from the prefix con- and verb verge. Here, prefix con means together, and the verb verge, that means to turn toward. We can use convergence to explain things that are in the process of coming together, like the slow convergence of your opinions with those of your mother, or for things that have already come together. For example, a crowd of mass people all move together into a group.
1.3 What is Theory?
Theory is a set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based. It is a formal concept or set of ideas that is aimed to explain something. For example, the Tw0-step flow of communication theory, Groupthink Muted Group Theory, SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY, Tubb’s Theory- Small Group Communication, and so on.
2. History of the Symbolic Convergence Theory?
Ernest Bormann established Symbolic Convergence Theory in 1972. SCT was first proposed by Ernest Bormann in the Quarterly Journal of Speech in 1972. Bormann and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota introduced SCT as a framework for discovering, describing, and explaining the dynamic process by which humans come to share symbolic reality.
SCT is a communication-related theory introduced by Ernest Bormann who is a Professor at the University of Minnesota in the United States. American communication theorist best known as the originator of symbolic convergence theory (SCT) and its attendant method, fantasy theme analysis, which both explore how the sharing of narratives or “fantasies” can create and sustain group consciousness. He argued that group consciousness can occur at any level of communication, from within small groups to mass media. Thus, he identified symbolic convergence as a general theory of communication.
3. Description of Symbolic Convergence Theory
Symbolic Convergence Theory offers an elucidation for the appearance of a group’s cohesiveness, consisting of shared emotions, motives, and meanings. Through SCT, members of the group can build a community or a group consciousness which grows stronger if they share a cluster of fantasy themes. Although this theory allows theorists and practitioners to anticipate or predict what did happen and what will happen but it does not allow for control of human communication.
It attempts to explain how communication can create and sustain group consciousness through the sharing of narratives or fantasies. To foster this cohesiveness, dramatizing or using fantasy stories are significant types of communication involved in SCT. SCT explains that meanings, emotions, values, and motives for action are in the communication contexts by people trying to make sense out of a common experience. It is a process through which collectives create and share a consciousness and develop a common symbolic reality.