ERIC Number: ED369122
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Mythical Structures in Community Vision.
To negotiate a balance between an ideological concern for society's historical-economic development and an understanding of the individual's need for a sense of self-realization, social theory researchers should look to B. Dervin's "gap theory model" of communication. Adapted from Kenneth Burke, it offers a dynamic means of understanding how society might move from a problem (individualism leads to a competitive society that engenders fissures such as violence and pornography), to a formulation of this problem (individual rights vs. community responsibility), to possible solutions (family and media role modeling structures that encourage personal maturity in the context of social accountability). Drawing on the mythological archetypes of C. G. Jung, social theorists argue that the health of the individual should not be confused with the cult of the individual. Proper ego development through challenges, triumphs, and supportive hero-based media tales is necessary to the maturation of community leaders. Society must develop methods of forming community consensus about what sorts of social structures, media contents, and governing principles are desirable. First, however, the patriarchal, Eurocentric heritage must be confronted; this history has left many alienated segments of society wanting some form of identity enhancement before being able to fully participate in a negotiated definition of mainstream Americanism. (The generic communication model, based on Burke's model of multi-image communication and Dervin's gap theory, is shown in Figure 1. (TB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Archetypes; Communication Behavior; Educational Issues; Heroes
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Communication Association (Cleveland, OH, April 9-12, 1992).