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Symbolic Convergence Theory

Symbolic convergence theory (SCT), brainchild of Ernest G. Bormann, attempts to explain how communication can create and sustain group consciousness through the sharing of narratives or “fantasies.” Drawing on the observations of Harvard social psychologist Robert Bales, Bormann explored how the practice of cooperative fantasizing leads to enhanced group cohesion and, ultimately, the emergence of a group mind. He asserted that these communal narratives serve as the means by which group members can understand and articulate their shared social reality. Thus, sharing fantasies encourages the development of a convergent point of view, a shared understanding of the group's common experiences, as well as their identity as a community. Fantasy theme analysis was developed to detect the presence of group consciousness resulting from collaborative fantasizing and ...

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