On Symbols and Society

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University of Chicago Press, 15.07.1989 - 332 Seiten
Kenneth Burke's innovative use of dramatism and dialectical method have made him a powerful critical force in an extraordinary variety of disciplines—education, philosophy, history, psychology, religion, and others. While most widely acclaimed as a literary critic, Burke has elaborated a perspective toward the study of behavior and society that holds immense significance and rich insights for sociologists. This original anthology brings together for the first time Burke's key writings on symbols and social relations to offer social scientists access to Burke's thought.

In his superb introductory essay, Joseph R. Gusfield traces the development of Burke's approach to human action and its relationship to other similar sources of theory and ideas in sociology; he discusses both Burke's influence on sociologists and the limits of his perspective. Burke regards literature as a form of human behavior—and human behavior as embedded in language. His lifework represents a profound attempt to understand the implications for human behavior based on the fact that humans are "symbol-using animals." As this volume demonstrates, the work that Burke produced from the 1930s through the 1960s stands as both precursor and contemporary key to recent intellectual movements such as structuralism, symbolic anthropology, phenomenological and interpretive sociology, critical theory, and the renaissance of symbolic interaction.
 

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Nutzerbericht  - marccsantos - LibraryThing

Contains two of the greatest essays on rhetoric penned in the 20th century: "Terministic Screens" and "Definition of Man." I will admit I haven't read another essay in the volume, but those two are so good I can't imagine giving this book anything but five stars. Vollständige Rezension lesen

Inhalt

Joseph R Gusfield
1
THE FORM OF SOCIAL ACTION
51
The Nature of Human Action
53
The Human Actor Definition of Man
56
LANGUAGE AS SYMBOLIC ACTION
75
Symbolic Action
77
Types of Meaning Semantic and Poetic Meaning
86
The Symbol as Formative
107
Terms of Rhetoric
192
Rhetorical Analysis
211
DIALECTICAL METHOD
233
The Paradox of Substance
235
Irony and Dialectic
247
Perspective by Incongruity Comic Correctives
261
The Transformation of Terms
268
SYMBOLS AND THE SOCIAL ORDER
277

Language as Action Terministic Screens
114
Motives as Action
126
DRAMATISTIC ANALYSIS
133
Dramatistic Method
135
Ways of Placement
139
Vocabularies of Motive
158
RHETORICAL ACTION
177
Identification
179
Order and Hierarchy
279
Terms for Order
282
Sin and Redemption
294
Ideology and Myth
303
References in Burke Readings
317
Kenneth Burke
319
Index
323
Urheberrecht

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Über den Autor (1989)

Born in Pittsburgh, Burke was educated at Ohio State and Columbia universities. During his early career, he became involved with a number of little magazines, including Broom and Secession. He also wrote for The Dial and The Nation as a music critic. His greatest fame, however, has been as a literary critic. Omnivorously eclectic, Burke has found in the analysis of human symbolic activities a key to the largest cultural issues. For Burke, literature is the most prominent and sophisticated form of "symbolic action," one that provides "equipment for living" by allowing us to try out hypothetical strategies for dealing with the endless variety of human situations and experiences. Human society demands some principle of order, but the language and reason that create order can fall into rigid abstractions that can be destructive and violently imposed. Literature shows us an image of sacrifice, forgiveness, and flexibility that plays an important role in keeping society functioning flexibly. Burke's writing is extensive, complex and wide ranging, but also unique and uniquely important among current critical approaches.

Joseph Gusfield is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of California, San Diego. The Culture of Public Problems was awarded the Charles Horton Cooley Award for 1983 by the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. Professor Gusfield's other books include Kenneth Burke: On Symbols and Society, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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