Symbolic Convergence Essay

Submitted By jdawgaight
Words: 315
Pages: 2

Ernest Bormann first proposed Symbolic Convergence Theory in 1972, in the Quarterly Journal of Speech. The theory studies the sense-making function of communication. The term “symbolic” refers to verbal and non-verbal messages, and “convergence” refers to the shared understanding and meaning. The theory suggests that members of the group share in fantasy themes, or stories that improve cohesiveness of the group. “Chaining out” can lead to even greater cohesiveness, since members of the group tend to share these stories in a collaborative manner, making it near impossible to identify a narrator. As the group members share more fantasies together, they begin to view themselves more similarly.

I found examples of Symbolic Convergence in a few scenes from the movie The Breakfast Club. Throughout the movie, I noticed that the group became more cohesive as they began to “chain out” on each other’s fantasy themes. As each person began to self-disclose more, the group found they could better relate to one another. In the “Social Clubs” scene, Bender shows the group that although their clubs differ in popularity terms, they are still similar to one another. In the second scene, “Getting To Know Each Other”, Bender shows the group that they can relate to one another since they all probably disagree with their parents. Through this argument, Brian’s name is learned, bringing the group closer. In the scene, “Covering For Bender”, the group shows a shared understanding of what to do