Symbolic Convergence in Gossip Girl: The Fantasy of the “In Crowd” Essay

Symbolic Convergence in Gossip Girl: The Fantasy of the “In Crowd” Essay

Length: 1663 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

From high school girls desperately trying to be one of cool kids in school to corporate warriors rubbing elbows for that next promotion, nearly everyone has fantasized about being a part of the “in crowd”. What is it that makes the bonds and barriers of “in crowd” so unbreakable? Through sharing stories and reaching conclusions through discussion of those stories, members of small groups develop a common bond that shapes their social reality. An example of this bond is prominent in the CW’s hit show, Gossip Girl, which focuses on the world of high society elite at a private high school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York. Circumstances in Gossip Girl show how concepts in symbolic convergence describe the formation of group bonds and their effect on the group’s and individual group member’s interaction with the outside world. Before analyzing this, one must be knowledgeable about the basic components of symbolic convergence and have a general understanding of the show’s premise and plot line.
Symbolic Convergence
The theory of symbolic convergence was developed by University of Minnesota professor, Ernest Bormann. Originally called fantasy theme analysis, Bormann set out to develop a method of rhetorical criticism, which uses a dramatistic approach (Griffin, 2009, p. 27). While completing his research, he noticed a distinct connection between the use dramatic imagery and the degree of group consciousness and solidarity. He named this connection symbolic convergence, meaning “The linguistic process by which group members develop a sense of community or closeness; cohesiveness, unity, solidarity,” (Griffin, 2009, p. 29). The driving force of symbolic convergence is the fantasy. Bormann defines the fantasy as, “The crea...


... middle of paper ...


... Chapter 2: Small Group Communication Theory.Communicating in small groups: principles and practices (9th ed., pp. 42-44). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
Gossip Girl - IMDb. (n.d.). The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved April 9, 2011, from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0397442
Gossip Girl on TV.com. (n.d.).TV.com - Free Full Episodes & Clips, Show Info and TV Listings Guide. Retrieved April 9, 2011, from http://www.tv.com/gossip-girl/show/68744/summary.html
Griffin, Emory A. (2009). Chapter 3: Weighing the Words. A first look at communication theory(7th ed., pp. 27-29). Singapore: McGraw-Hill Education (Asia).
Gossip Girl. Schwartz, Joshua, and Stephanie Savage. The CW. KCWE, Kansas City. 2007. Television.
Season 1, Episode 16, “All About My Brother.” Swartz, Joshua, and Stephanie Savage. Gossip Girl. The CW. KCWE, Kansas City. 5 May 2008. Television.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Bormann's Symbolic Convergence Theory

- Bormann's Symbolic Convergence Theory Ernest Bormann's Symbolic Convergence Theory offers a promising method of looking at small group interaction and cohesiveness. When individuals who are not familiar with each other come together for the sake of achieving a common goal, be it a group in an organization or students working on a school project, the symbolic convergence theory presents an understandable and generally accurate stance on how cohesiveness within the group is attained. The symbolic convergence theory is praised and even considered a bit unusual, because it meets the criteria for both scientific and humanistic standards....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Powerful Essays
2382 words (6.8 pages)

Psychological Elements of the Crowd Essay

- ... Reflections on the 2011 London Riots showed many theorizing that the rioting, while initially seeming to be baseless violence and looting, was in fact a collective catharsis of accumulated dissent. Young persons may have been looting as a means of “taking back what was theirs”- or taking luxury items they could not otherwise afford. Commercialism could have had a factor in it: impoverished youth could see on television and bill boards and even in popular music all the amenities their economic status denied, and thus felt justified when given the opportunity in taking it....   [tags: riots, crowd psychology, chaos]

Powerful Essays
1563 words (4.5 pages)

Symbolic Interactionist : Symbolic Interactionism Essays

- Symbolic Interactionist Symbolic Interactionist, is a concept that borders on the fringes of sociology, speech and communications, and even human psychology. The term was first coined by Herbert Bulmer who did not invent the concept. The concept was created by his professor at the University of Chicago and renowned social phycologist George Herbert Mead. The basic premise of this concept is that the very root of being human is being social creatures and our connection to each other. It is in this light that we judge our actions and choices as either successful and appropriate....   [tags: Sociology, Symbolic interactionism, Criminology]

Powerful Essays
1097 words (3.1 pages)

The Man of the Crowd, by Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- “The man of the crowd” which was written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1840, is a tale that awakens the curiosity of the reader and implants vivid images of the walking people alongside the coffee shop where the narrator is sitting. The narrator gains our trust from the beginning of the story, and naively walks us through the streets of London for a full day, doing something that is considered wrong, stalking an old man, just out of a sick minded curiosity to know his deepest secrets. He does that after generally analyzing the crowd at first, and classifying them into different groups and then he gradually focuses his attention in one man only; one man that to his opinion stands out from the crowd a...   [tags: The Man of the Crowd Essays]

Powerful Essays
1116 words (3.2 pages)

Symbolic Interactionism And The Symbolic Interactionist Approach Essay

- Required Question: The symbolic interactionist approach is, quite literally, how we interpret the world around us, given the symbols which construct society; essentially, it is how we interpret the meanings of the goings-on around us in the everyday world. We interpret these meanings based off of learned meanings, which are derived from a societal interpretation that is reproduced both consciously and unconsciously through the members of a society every day. The symbolic interactionist approach exists from a social constructionist standpoint in the assumptions that something is real in its consequences to us; in essence, it is our social reality....   [tags: Sociology, Symbolic interactionism, Psychology]

Powerful Essays
1063 words (3 pages)

Fantasy Orientation in Children Essay

- ... Half the children were told a story about a fantasy world involving an evil robot and astronauts, while the rest were told a story about two body dodging a babysitter. The basic story line was the same, retrieving an object without the villain noticing it. After the session the children were questioned to ensure whether they understood it fully. Then they were given a real life scenario to solve which required the use of same tactics as used in the story. The children who heard realistic stories were able to solve the issue much better than the ones who heard the fantasy stories....   [tags: distinguisihing reality from fantasy]

Powerful Essays
2008 words (5.7 pages)

Convergence And Coalesgence Essay

- Convergence and Coalescence in Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything that Rises Must Converge” In “Everything that Rises Must Converge,” Flannery O’Connor distorts the world through a lens of false moral righteousness and hypocrisy. In line with her work’s title, O’Connor posits acts of convergence, which I herein define as moments of impact where white and African American cultures attempt to bridge “the fence” of racial separation; but while O’Connor crafts such opportunities for realization, she deliberately conveys a lack of coalescence, the true integration of these cultures with the presence of empathy....   [tags: African American, Racial segregation, Racism, Race]

Powerful Essays
1907 words (5.4 pages)

Use of Poetic Devices in Thomas Hardy's Poem, The Convergence of the Twain

- Use of Poetic Devices in Thomas Hardy’s Poem, The Convergence of the Twain Using distinctive diction, detailed imagery, and references to God, Thomas Hardy portrays his perspective of the sinking of “Titanic” in his poem, “The Convergence of the Twain.” Employing these poetic mechanisms, Hardy claims that the sinking of the Titanic was fate and meant to happen. The title furthermore portrays the coming together of the hemispheres as Titanic and God. Hardy uses strong meaningful diction to convey his thoughts of the sinking of the Titanic....   [tags: Hardy Convergence Twain]

Free Essays
413 words (1.2 pages)

Review of Far from the Madding Crowd Essays

- Review of Far from the Madding Crowd At the start of the story, we are told by Liddy that Boldwood "took her and put her to school and got her a place here with your uncle." And that "he's a very kind man." With this, we can see that Boldwood is regarded highly in the eyes of the country folk. However, when he fell for Bathsheba, he became an emotional wreck and his hay ricks ruined as he didn't collect them in before the storm. By doing this, he is shirking his responsibilities. As Gabriel said, "A few months earlier Boldwood's forgetting his husbandry would have been as preposterous as a sailor forgetting he was in a ship." Boldwood forgetting his hay ricks was a huge clue to how much B...   [tags: Thomas Hardy Far from the Madding Crowd Essays]

Free Essays
2475 words (7.1 pages)

Fantasy in Theatre Essay

- Fantasy in Theatre In preperation for our performance on the above subject, we firstly listened to several pieces of fantasy music as a guided visualisation in which we were asked to imagine going through different doors and to visualise what was behind them. This then inspired us to experiment with diferent stylistic devices to include in our performance. We were given two pieces of text that was goin to be the scope for our piece of Drama, they were: A Midsummer Night's Dream - A play by William Shakespeare....   [tags: Fantasy Shakespeare Theatre Drama Essays]

Free Essays
1115 words (3.2 pages)