ERIC Number: ED344260
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Film in Honors Rhetoric: Students' Dramaturgical Analyses of "The Mission."
Caputo, John S.; Smith, Amanda
Since narrative forms help provide the rules and contexts for guiding human behavior, film and television offer excellent sources for the study of rhetoric in the college classroom. Kenneth Burke, Ernest Bormann, and Erving Goffman are all theorists, working from a "dramaturgical" perspective, who disuccuss the powerful role of the media in influencing social morality and praxis. Kevin Durkin's notion of "script theory" also provides theoretical support for investigating how people are influenced and motivated by media such as feature films. In the Honors Rhetoric course offered to freshmen at Gonzaga University (Spokane, Washington), students are assigned to analyze the film, "The Mission." A dramaturgical perspective is selected for this assignment because of its stress on the concept of identification between speaker and audience and the critical analysis of motive. The result of such an assignment has been that, although many of the analyses of the film concentrated on the same main act or scene, students developed many different interpretations. Film is a genre of communication worthy of study because of its significant impact on American culture as rhetorical discourse. (Sixteen references are attached; an appendix includes a course description, syllabus, description of the film analysis assignment, and a scoring guide for the course.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Bormann (Ernest); Burke (Kenneth); Dramatistic Criticism; Durkin (Kevin); Goffman (Erving); Gonzaga University WA; Mission (The)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (77th, Atlanta, GA, October 31-November 3, 1991).