One of my favorite rhetorical theorists, Kenneth Burke has done wonders for communication. As I said earlier, one of Burke’s most noted theories is dramatism. Dramatism is a metaphor introduced by 20th-century rhetorician Kenneth Burke to describe his critical method. Dramatism. 1. Dramatism; 2. Introduced by rhetorician Kenneth Burke, made its way into the field of communication in the early ‘s.

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The agency is tools used in performing the act. A major concern of Burke’s was motives.

Dramatism – Wikipedia

In addition to focusing on the negotiated nature of social organization, dramaturgy emphasizes the manner in which the social order is expressed through social interaction, how social organization is enacted, featured and dramatized.

Examining Aristotle’s principles of rhetoric, Burke points out that the definition of the “old rhetoric ” is, in essence, persuasion. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 38 2 The purpose of the act would be to seek revenge on his girlfriend or soon to be ex-girlfriend.

Burke recognizes that identification rests on both unity and division, since no one’s substance can completely overlap with others. It is acknowledged that the political process has become more and more a theatrical, image-mongering, dramatic spectacle worthy of a show-business metaphor on a grand scale. Whether it is a physical action similar to the above example or even what someone would say or think.

Guilt serves as a motivating factor that drives the human drama.

Academic Amlong deconstructed print medias of the s addressing human rights as an aspect of educating women about the women’s rights movement.


Typical research topics include corporate realm, business influence on federal policy agenda, even funerals and religious themes. Western Journal of Communication, 70 4 Communication and social order.

In this perspective, Burke concluded that the ultimate motivation of man is to purge oneself of one’s sense of guilt through public speaking. It is used in a variety of fields.

A rhetoric of motives. Transcending the Sub-Stance of Dramatism.

It may be a simple, single action, such as moving or speaking, or may be more complex and compound. He defined the “guilt” as “the theological doctrine of Original Sin” [28] And as cited from Littlejohn, Burke sees guilt as “all-purpose word for any feeling of tension within a person—anxiety, embarrassment, self-hatred, disgust and the like” [29].

We start with Burke’s definition of Human: The way of turning the guilt into ourselves is called mortification. As Billings, the author of The Dramatistic Implications of Burke’s Guilt Redemption Cycle in the Donald Sterling Communication Crisis recognized and analyzed, that Sterlings act of trying to redeem his guilt was failed because of insufficient scapegoat.

Burke’s Five Elements of Dramatism

Burke says that wherever there is persuasion, there is rhetoric, and wherever there is meaning, there is persuasion. Language expert Kenneth Burke dramtaism a method of analysing the semantic dimensions of language through a five-part ‘dramatism pentad’ that describes our living stories.

Burke maintained that analyzing the ratios of a speaker’s presentation would expose the resources bur,e ambiguity people might exploit to interpret complex problems. For example, by analyzing public address, scholars examine why a speaker selects a certain strategy to identify with audience. Feminist scholars also talked about our ability as a society to begin to think in new ways about sex and gender, to extent our language beyond duality to a broad ” humanity ” and to “human beings”.


Burke himself discuses his feeling about the pentad in his book, The Philosophy of Literary Form Burke’s goal is to explain the whole of human experience with symbolic interaction. With these parts separated, it allows us to focus our attention on the important variables. The agency is what the person used to perform the act and finally the purpose is why the act took place.

Burke’s Pentad: Dramatism

Dramatistic ratios is the “proportions of one element relative to another in the Dramatism Pentad”, [7] which can be used to find the dominant element in the interaction. This page was last edited on 18 Decemberat According to Burke, there are two different types of scapegoating, universal and fractional.

Language strategies are central to Burke’s dramatistic approach. This is the proverbial “how”. The emphasis is on the expressive ienneth of the social bond.

He pivoted the fact and described it as a circumstance that he couldn’t control. In the edition of GrammarBburke added a new element, Attitude, thereby making the pentad a hexad. The act is a motivated and purposeful action. State U of New York P. Homophily is the perceived similarity between speaker and listener. Category Task Force Discussion. They employ dramatism to show how these skills are critical in raising finance.

Studies bugke Philosophy and Education. In fractional scapegoating, the speaker blames a specific group or a specific person for their problems. University of California Pr.