Table of Contents
Last updated February 14, 2001
SPRING 2001 THEORY WORKBOOK
Fantasy Theme Analysis ( Symbolic Convergence Theory)
Explanation of Theory:
Fantasy Theme Analysis is a method used by groups to intensify the group dynamic based on a communication that allows information sharing regarding issues relating to the group.
Theorists: Ernest Bormann
Bormann, "Fantasy Theme Analysis and Rhetorical Theory," in the Rhetoric
of Western Thought, 5th ed., James Golden, Goodwin Berquist,
Individual Interpretations: When a group comes together, attention must be paid to the group's social climate. As the theory suggests, this leads to a more productive group thatnot only achieves cohesion socially, but also productivity is heightened. This cohesion is gained by the group willingness to discuss outside issues andsituations to give the group a sense of comfort and certainty about the other group members. This eventually leads to the "fantasy chain reaction, which gives the group conversation an upbeat tempo.
Metatheoretical Assumptions: Metatheoretical Assumptions: Being a Scientific theory, the following metatheoretical assumption must be advanced.
Assumptions: Fantasy Theme provides one "T" truth due to the
one outcome for this event of discussion concerning outside activities
and group hopes.
Critique: Bormann's Fantasy Theme Analysis is a very insightful theory that groups can use as a template for how they function in the early stages of their experience as a group or team. It also contests the notion that task maintenence roles should be first and foremost. Fantasy Theme Analysis suggests that for these two roles (task and maintenence) to function, they must be equally regarded and tended to.
Power - The explanatory power of Bormannís theory is very
strong. There is a very detailed process that a
Power - Bormann states that if the group collectively shares
information about each other and the direction of
- This is a very understandable theory that is not quite simplistic,
yet it is simple enough to be expounded
Falsifiablity - Bormann's Fantasy Theme Analysis is very easily tested through observation.
- The internal logic in Bormann's theory is very cohesive and every
detail connects with the overall
Provocativeness - Fantasy Theme Analysis generates questions
for further research on groups and the way
Power - Bormann;s theory is very organized and fits with
already existing knowledge regarding groups and group
A is a very cohesive group. Every class period they first tend to the maintenance
roles, explaining what each member did the night before.After several minutes,
the group then switches to the task roles, a process in which they define
a task and go about achieving the task. Bormannwould explain that through
this action, the group is more likely to have very active conversations,
and ultimately energize the group, increasing their
Group B has a problem when
it comes to group cohesion. When they are together, they focus solely on
the task at hand, instead of tending to the
Location in Eight (8) Primary Communication Theory Textbooks:
Anderson, R., & Ross, V. (1998). Questions of communication: A practical introduction to theory (2nd ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press, 183- 184.
Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 112- 114.
Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 21- 28.
Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, 33- 34.
Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. N/A
Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 167- 168.
West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. N/A
Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 24.Ideas and Implications