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Bormann, Ernest G. (1926–)

Ernest G. Bormann is 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. For Bormann, these communal narratives encouraged group cohesion and fostered the development of a shared social reality among group members. While his initial conception of symbolic convergence stemmed from his research of small group communication, he argued that group consciousness can occur at any level of communication, from small group to public to mass media. Thus, he identified symbolic convergence as a general theory of communication.

Bormann received his bachelor's degree from the University of South Dakota in 1949, graduating magna cum laude. By 1953, he had received both ...

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