Symbolic Convergence Theory:
A Communication Formulation

Jennifer Hall
Fuente original.
"Much of what has commonly been thought of as persuasion can be accounted for on the basis of group and mass fantasies. The fantasizing is accompanied by emotional arousal; the dreams embodied in the fantasies drive participants toward actions and efforts to achieve them; the sharing of fantasies provides a social reality peopled by anthropomorphic forces and imagined and historical personages in confrontations"(135).

Ernest G. Bormann states that symbolic convergence theory also known as fantasy theme theory is split up into a three-part structure.

1. Discovery and arrangement of recurring communicative forms and patterns that indicate the evolution and presence of a shared group decision.

To put this into better terms or further explanation, this relates to a problem that we faced over the past few years, Y2K. We heard about it, but did we really understand what it was about? In recent years we had many questions like: is my money going to be there in the morning, is my electricity going to go out, do I need to go get a new computer, and should I stock up on food? As we got closer to the turn of the century we only had more questions.

2. Description of the dynamic tendencies within communication systems that explain why group consciousnessí arise, continue, decline, and disappear and the effects such group consciousnessí have in terms of meanings, motives, and communication within the group.

Going along with the description above about Y2K, millions of dollars were spent on a way to fix it. Many people thought that there was nothing we could do about it. They would make themselves feel better by getting mass amounts of foods, water and even some sort of bomb shelter. The government was constantly reassuring us there was nothing to be worried about, but obviously with the amount of time and money they were putting into Y2K, people were getting concerned.

3. Why people share fantasies when they do.

Not knowing what is going to happen to you is a very uneasy feeling. Many people followed others and wanted to panic but that obviously was not the way to go. A shared sense of fear is what fell upon the world. It is often easier for people to come together as one than to be on their own. People were being flown in from all over the world to try and make sure nothing happened. Most of the fear came from the uncertainty not the real risk. With in the year the problem was fixed.