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Articles and Collected Writtings of Ernest G. Bormann

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Toward a theory of Persuasion.

Ernest G. Bormann JACR Fall, 1982, 10(2)

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical explanation of the widely demonstrated experimental phenomenon of selective perception of persuasive messages and the tendency of some subjects to change attitudes under certain experimental conditions.

Power, Authority, and Sex: Male response to Female Leadership. Ernest G. Bormann, Jerie Pratt and Linda Putnam. Communication Monographs, Volume 45 June 1978

 

ECOLOGICAL VALIDITY AND SPECIAL THEORIES THE NEW CORPORATE COMMUNICATION STYLE

Ernest G. Bormann Speech Communication Association Annual Convention Chicago, ILNovember 2, 1990

Scholars studying communication have tended to use the term theory in impreciseways. In order to provide a theoretical explanation of such concepts as operational validity or ecological validity it is useful to distinguish two of the more importantmeanings for the term theory. I will characterize one meaning as general theories and the other as special theories. General theories of communication are analogous to thetheories of the natural sciences that account for broad classes of events.

COMMUNICATION EDUCATION IN AMERICA

Ernest G. Bormann

Speech Education in America started very early in the colonies well before the declaration of independence.

When Harvard College was founded in New England it was based on the British system as exemplified by Oxford and Cambridge. That system was heavily forensic. Students were being prepared for careers in law and religion. They participated in syllogistic debates in Latin; they defended theses submitted by the faculty. As new institutions of learning were established such as William and Mary in Virginia they tended to emulate Harvard. .......
THREE DECADES OF DEVELOPING, GROUNDING AND USING
SYMBOLIC CONVERGENCE THEORY (SCT)

Ernest G. Bormann, John F. Cragan, and Donald C. Shields
........ The moral of Aesop’s fable is twofold. First, it highlights that humans naturally ask why actions occur and respond to such questions with explanatory accounts. Cragan and Shields (1995a) indicated that humans possess a natural theory-making ability. Humans respond readily to the impetus of “why?” questions, and in so doing, theorize, that is, provide a why explanation for human action. Communication scholars do that, too, as they develop theories to provide communication-based explanations of phenomena. One such contemporary communication theory is the symbolic convergence theory of communication (SCT). .....

SPRECHKULTUR IM MEDIENZEITALTER

Ernest G. Bormann

Fantasiethemenanalyse ist eine humanistische Methode rhetorischer Kritik, die, kombiniert mit einer allgemeinen Kommunikationstheorie (symbolische Konvergenz), die humanistischen und wissenschaftlichen Rhetorik- und Kommunikationsstudien zusammenbringen kann. Diese Kombination von sozialwissenschaftlichen und humanistischen Perspektiven erleichtert die Anwendung der Theorie in der Praxis auf verschiedenen Gebieten, wie z.B. denen der Kommunikation in der Politik und in dem der Massenmedien (Cragan & Shields, 1980; Bormann, 1972, 1982, 1983).

TALKING TO HOSTILE AUDIENCES

Ernest G. Bormann

Generally hostility is associated with CHANGE. Inevitably things go badly as time goes on for certain people and certain groups of people. They experience a time of troubles. People visited by a time of troubles get upset. If the troubles continue they may become frustrated. One response to frustration and a perceived time of troubles is to seek change and alleviate the pain. They may become organized enough to put pressure on for change.

MEDIA FANTASIES of CAMPAIGN 1988

A speech by Ernest Bormann at the
Department of Communication’s Spring Banquest:
“A Celebration of Rhetoric” May 1988

One of the claims of fantasy theme analysis is that utilizing the technical terms of the symbolic convergence theory to describe rhetoric and link it to public consciousness allows for the summary and synthesis of a body of research findings. While there is virtue in idiosyncratic viewpoints in rhetorical criticism it is the case that attempts to draw generalizations from a series of such studies are difficult if not impossible. So it has been my argument that there ought to be room for a coherent and integrated large scale research program in rhetorical criticism which does yield general conclusions about public discourse.