ERIC Number: ED251884
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Emergence of Meaning during the Occasion of Performance.
Buzza, Bonnie Wilson
For those analyzing oral interpretation performance, the theory of Symbolic Interactionism can be used to explain two interrelated phenomena that occur during the performance: expanded understanding of the text (emergent meaning) and expanded understanding of oneself (development of the self-concept). George Herbert Mead, a founder of Symbolic Interactionism, felt that the full meaning of communication emerged in the act of communication itself, and that communication was significant when the speaker was affected in the same way as the listener. Meaning in communication emerged from the gesture initiating the act, the responding gesture, and the completed social act. Both the activities of emergent meaning and development of self-concept can be seen to occur during oral interpretation preparation and performance. For the reader, the first stage in the emergence of meaning occurs in textual analysis. The interpreter uses his or her ability to decenter in seeking the perspective of the speaker of the literature rather than relying on his or her personal point of view. The speaker in the literature becomes the significant other with whom the interpreter is first involved. In rehearsals the reader extends this experience into an interaction with a prospective audience, while in performance the emergence of meaning is completed with a real audience. That completes the conversation of gestures, and the real audience becomes the final significant other. Furthermore, for active rather than passive audiences, that same emergence of meaning comes about. They also experience the perspective of another and in so doing expand their own sense of self. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Decentering (Psychological); Emergent Meaning; Mead (George Herbert); Symbolic Interactionism
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, IL, April 12-14, 1984).