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Fantasy Theme Analysis

Developed primarily by Ernest G. Bormann, fantasy theme analysis is a method of rhetorical investigation, designed to detect and describe the presence of group consciousness, or what Bormann called symbolic convergence. First introduced in a 1972 publication, symbolic convergence theory attempts to account for the development of a group mind through “dramatizing” or the dramatic sharing of narratives among group members. Bormann called these communal narratives “fantasies” and argued that such cooperative story-telling would enhance group cohesion and encourage the cultivation of a convergent point of view. Thus, a fantasy provides group members with symbolic common ground and, by extension, a shared social identity.

Emanating from both the social scientific and humanistic traditions of communication scholarship, fantasy theme analysis is often characterized as a bridge between ...

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