Burke’s Pentad (Dramatism). Kenneth Burke developed a critical technique called dramatism1. The foundation of dramatism is the concept of motive: the. Kenneth Burke’s dramatistic approach in speech criticism “Burke’s perspective on perspectives: Grounding dramatism in the representative. Kenneth Burke’s Dramatism. Life is drama; playing roles in relation to other people. Interest in the interaction of language and action. Symbolic.

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Contemporary Perspectives on Rhetoric. The theory is also interpretable to explain and predict. The pentad can be used to explain and analyze almost any thing that happens in the world. University of California Press. Finally, it explains and predicts the event. The emphasis is on the expressive nature of the social bond. Relatedly, some critique that the theory lacks parsimony, meaning it is unclear and too large to be useful.

A Comment on “Burke’s Act ” “. 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.

Gender differences in beliefs about female and male rape. On these three linchpins developed a theory of human motivation as symbolic.

When there is overlap between two people in terms of their substance, they have identification. Current Research in Social Psychology, jenneth 8 Act The act is a motivated and purposeful action.

The pollution is the guilt or sin. As cited in A Note on Burke on “Motive”, the author recognized the importance of “motive” in Burke’s work.


This creates a division within the audience. Rempel Denise applies dramatism to explore the social networking site MySpace. Burke’s new rhetoric has also been used to understand the women’s equality movementspecifically in regards to the education of women and sharing of knowledge through print media.

Motives, such as hatred, envy and love can also act as agents as ‘they’ are the moving force that acts. However, this author notes that Burke’s work wasn’t a critique and examination of this relationship through dramatism, but rather that the theory of dramatism does give space to make such analyses.

Dramatism – Wikipedia

Scholars study how dramaturgical materials create essential images by analyzing political advertising and campaigns, stagecraft-like diplomacy, etc. Saying no to the existing order is both a function of our language abilities and evidence of humans as choice makers.

The theory is necessary because it is logically consistent and testable as I have shown. Philosophy of literary form 3 rd ed. In this theory, our lives are as if on a stage, setting us individuals as actors on that stage as a way to understand human motives and relations. Grounding Dramatism in the Representative Anecdote.

Burke’s Five Elements of Dramatism

Another example bugke applying Dramatism guilt redemption cycle elements in communication field, is the communication crisis of Donald Sterling ‘s scandal. Furthermore, scholar Brenda Robinson Hancock used Burke’s dramatism to study women’s movements, specifically with identification as actors.

The more substance two people share, the greater the identification.

Dwight Macdonald and Ernest Van Den Haag views that popular or “mass”- culture functions not as Scene, as one might ordinarily expect, but as Agency. However, future theorists, specifically Bernard Brock [60] and Herb Simons[61] went on to argue dramatism as metaphorical theory claiming that Burke’s idea that all the world’s a stage is mere a tool of symbolic interaction that signals life as a drama.


Society is a dramatic process in which hierarchy forms structure through power relationships.

The order is the status quo, where everything is right with the world. Rhetoric Review4 1 Retrieved from ” https: How we change what others think, feel, believe and do.

Burke recognizes that identification rests on both unity and division, since no one’s substance can completely overlap with others. Rhetorical Landscapes in America: 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 dramstism, featured and dramatized.

Symbolic Motivation

Check date values in: So he takes some nude photos that he has of her and publishes them on the internet for revenge. Identification is the basic function of sociality, using both positive and negative associations. As Charles Kneupper dramatksm on Burke’s work on this theory, that “i would concur that has been limitations in the application of dramatistic theory