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Fantasy Themed Criticism Lecture and textbook notes (chapter 5) that details the origins and techniques used in fantasy themed criticism.

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ENGL 104
Michael Hancock

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Fantasy Themed Criticism March-04-11 11:17 AM  Created by Ernest G. Bormann, designed to provide insights into the shared worldview of groups  Started with Bales in the 1950s: discovered the process of group fantasising or dramatising as a type of communication that occurs in groups  Bormann expanded Bales' notion into symbolic convergence theory and fantasy themed criticism that can be applied to small groups and rhetoric in which themes function dramatically to connect audiences with messages o Sees a connection between fantasies and arguments; shared fantasies provide the groundwork or framework for arguments. Arguments require a set of common assumptions about the proper way to provide good reasons to support an argument  Symbolic convergence theory - close to Kenneth Burke's consubstantiality o Based on two assumptions o Communication creates reality: reality changes as symbols for talking about it changes o Symbols create reality for individuals and the individuals' meaning for symbols can converge to create a shared reality or community consciousness o Convergence refers to "the way two or more private symbolic worlds incline toward each other, come more closely together, or overlap during certain processes of communication o Convergence also means consensus or general agreement on subjective meanings o Evidence of symbolic convergence can be discerned through frequent mention of a theme, narrative or analogy in a variety of messages  When people have a shared fantasy theme, they charge that theme with meanings and emotions that can be set off by an agreed upon cryptic symbolic cue. Serve as allusions to previously shared fantasies  Basic unit of analysis of symbolic convergence theory and fantasy theme criticism is fantasy theme o Fantasy is "the creative and imaginative interpretation of events". Designed to capture the constructed nature of the theme o Fantasy theme is the means through which the interpretation is accomplished in communication. Word, phrase or statement that interprets events in the past, envisions events in the future, or depicts current events that are removed in time or space from the activities of the group. Tells a story about a group's experience that constitutes a constructed reality for the participants  Fantasy theme depicts characters, actions and settings that are removed from an actual current group situation in time and place  Fantasies characterised by artistic and organised qualities. Designed to c
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