The cat with the “strat” comes back: A burkeian‐weickian primer for organizing narrative

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The article proposes a theoretical perspective for analyzing the organization of narrative that combines Weick’s (1979) model of organizing and Burke’s (1968a, 1984b) ideas of dramatistic form and the guilt‐purification‐redemption cycle. The theoretical perspective is used to interpret a narrative from the world of music about the cultural practice of “bamboozling” as a “curative” act. The analysis describes how: (a) an equivocal construct is retrospectively enacted, (b) repetitive, conventional, progressive, and minor forms, particularly metaphor and crescendo, are selected in the processing of equivocality, (c) the movement toward linguistic “perfection” of the metaphor of “doctor” reflects requisite variety, mortification and scapegoating, and the “demonic trinity,” (d) the representation of “double‐interacts” within the narrative form serves to produce both frustration and gratification while also processing equivocality, and (e) narrative “discrediting” serves to reproduce the hierarchy and mystery that symbolically legitimates the cultural practice reproduced in the narrative. Five propositions are stated that use central ideas from Burke’s dramatism and Weick’s model of organizing.


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Recommended Citation

Scheibel, Dean. (2002). The cat with the “Strat” comes back: A Burkeian-Weickian primer for organizing narrative. Southern Communication Journal, Vol 67, No. 4, 303-318.