Kenneth Burke's Dramatism

 Kenneth Burke’s Dramatism Article

Kenneth Burke's Dramatism

Life is theatre; playing tasks in relation to other folks. Interest in the interaction of language and action.

Symbolic Interactionist—Language is symbolic action.

" Verbal signs are significant acts that motives could be derived (Griffin, p. 329). ”

" Human being beings…are a symbol-creating, symbol-using, and mark misusing pet (Littlejohn, 78, p. 69). ”

A theory of Motives—why do persons act (particularly rhetorically) how they do? Evaluate motives.

Texts/Speeches created simply by people to " DO SOMETHING. ”

Could be analyzed to ascertain what it is they are really trying to perform.

Distinguishes human being " Action” from Dog " Motion”

Action Motion

Done on purpose; Behaviors that are non-

non-reflex behavior purposeful/non-meaningful

e. g. Dramatism

All animals and objects

Peoplehave motion


Forms of ThoughtThe study of motion can be


Understood through motives


(tool for understanding motives)

Purpose: Linguistic Item of Rhetorical Action

Created a Grammar of Motives (" grammar” meaning rules, principles, elements, structure and/or book)

Motives are viewed by simply Burke in terms of internal types of action; but rather in terms of just how language and terms are used to make actions understandable.

Guilt because Motive: remorse is an " all-purpose word for just about any feeling of tension within a person—anxiety, embarrassment, self-hatred, disgust, and so forth (Littlejohn, 1978, p. 70). ”

We all communicate to purge yourself of sense of guilt.

Guilt arises out of language.

3 sources of sense of guilt:

1 . The Negative: Dialect allows for guidelines, morals, and so forth that surround us and that we can't get away violating.

installment payments on your The Principle of Perfection: Language allows us to " imagine” the ideal (should).

3. The Principle of Heirarchy: Framework society with

competitive class and group differences

We seek redemption (reduce or eradicate...

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