Myriad theories have been advanced in an attempt to explain human behaviour. This is because various Sociological theorists have different beliefs regarding human behaviour. For instance, Joan Emerson and Burke have come up with different theories in response to human behaviour. Joan Emerson advanced the social inference social constructivism theory while Burke advanced Dramatism and the Pentad Dramaturgy theory. These theories were an attempt to explain human behaviour in different areas whether public or private. Thus, it is essential to explore what Burke’s Pentad of Dramatism reveals regarding human behaviour and the photo availed for discussion. Thus Burke came up with a critical technique that is deemed as the concept of motives regarding people’s behaviour. He did this by creating a pentad that explored the motivation behind various behaviours depicted by people. It is essential to note that the theory has five parts that include questions, which are intended to tease out the motive for certain behaviour. The questions include who, what, why, where, when and where. On the other hand, Joan Emerson also advances her theory in regards to social behaviour but she deems everyday behaviour following a given path. This is because she considers the society as comprising of networks, which create a patterned social activity. In addition, she considers the social patterned activity governing people in the society as being replete. The rules are either written or unwritten. The photograph for analysis in this context comprises of a woman who has visited a gynaecologist and the purpose for analysis is to establish why the people in the picture are behaving in the way that they are (Crespi, 2002).
This paper utilizes Joan Emerson’s theory Social Inference, Social Construction and Burke’s Dramatism and the Pentad Dramaturgy theory in explaining the behaviour of the people in the provided photograph.
Joan Emerson Social Inference and Social Construction in Relation to the Provided Photo
From the photo, it is evident that Emerson (2010) incorporates social constructionism in explaining the gynaecological examination that is underway. She is keen to bring to the fore the difference existing between private and public behaviour. From her social constructionism explanation, it can be deducted that women do not expose their private parts publicly; thus, she is of the opinion that it is essential for people to take in mind the socially constructed definition of the gynaecological process. Emerson asserts that inference plays a crucial role in determining what is taking place where. This furthers our understanding of what is taking place on the photo as we can see a woman who is exposing her private parts to another who is definitely a gynaecologist (Fiske, Gilbert, & Lindzey, 2010). Thus, using inference, it can be concluded from the photo that women do not necessarily expose their private parts to the public unless on given situations like that depicted on the photo. Inference helps us understand the aforementioned scenario as we can deduce that the woman is in a context that appears like a hospital, which explains her exposure of her private parts. In addition, the position that the woman is sitting explains further regarding the context.
Another key aspect that aids our inference is language as explicated by Emerson. From the photo, we can easily read the body language of the people that appear on it. This helps in realizing that what is taking place on the photo appears formal and it is not a casual relationship. The doctor in the picture seems to be reaching out for a tool that is essential in her trade. Alternatively, she is also peeping in the woman’s private part, which according to Emerson’s social constructivism is not a permitted behaviour, but it is allowed in that context because she is in the line of duty (Gergen, 2001). This means that women are not adapted to checking each other’s private parts in public, but it is duty that guides them to take that step. Another aspect of language concerns the woman who is lying on the examining table. It is evident that she is in that position because she has been instructed to remain in that position by the doctor. This means that women do not lie anywhere they deem right exposing their private parts to the public (Gergen, 1997).
Regarding costume as explicated by Emerson, we deduct from the picture that one person is a patient while the other one is a doctor. This is evident from the clothes adorned by the people depicted in the picture. This means that it is not usual for people in the picture to dress in the costumes that they are in; however, it is the role or context that they are playing that leads makes them appear in the costumes that they have. For instance, the doctor is wearing a white overcoat, which is the tradition in many hospitals. Thus, this helps in clarifying what is taking place as doctors do not walk around wearing white overcoats in order for people to know that they are doctors. However, they adorn the overcoats when in the context of their working areas. It is also evident that the person lying on the bed is sick or has gone to seek for medical assistance. This derives from the costume she is wearing, which comprises of stirrups, a loose dress for making her comfortable and a sheet covering her private parts from complete exposure. This is a clear indication of the context and the behaviour that is taking place because two women cannot find themselves in such a position unless it is called for like the situation in the picture that depicts a hospital (Gergen & Gergen, 2003).
Dramatism by Burke
The basis of dramatism, as Kenneth Burke advances, is the conception of motive. It depicts the rationale as to why people do what they do. According to Burke, life was drama thus it is possible to discover the motives behind the actors by finding out their type of motivation in discourse and action. Consequently, Burke came up with a pentad, which consists of five questions that can be asked with regards to any discourse to commence teasing out the motivation. The first question considers the act: what took place? What action is going on? What are the thoughts? The second question encircles the scene: where is the scene taking place? What is happening in the background? The third question deals with the agent: who is doing the action? What roles do they play? The fourth question is about the agency: how do the agents involved act and by what means? The last questions deals with the purpose: why are the agents acting? What do they strive to achieve? As Burke explains, there has to be drama where there is an action, which leads to conflict, which then ends in victimage (Hacking, 1999).
The first question talks about the act. What happened in the photo? There are two women in the photo; one is leaning back on a hospital bed while the legs are in stirrup. The other lady appears to be staring at some kind of machine while taking note of something. The lady in stirrups is clutching her hands. From the photograph, we can deduce that there is some form of pelvic examination going on in the room (Hutchison, 2010). The lady in stirrup has opened her legs for the other person, probably a nurse or a doctor, to examine her. The second question investigates the scene: where is the pelvic examination happening? What is the background condition? From the photo, we can deduce that the action (pelvic examination) is taking place in a hospital. Such equipment can only be found in a hospital and not a home or any other place. The two ladies have also worn hospital attire, thus signaling that the action is taking place in a hospital. There is no much on the background, but the walls are plain and not any decoration. This is how one would expect theatres to look like; the walls are not colorful or with bright decorations (Malle & Holbrook, 2009).
The third question is all about the agent: who is engaged in the action? What are their tasks or responsibilities? During an examination, the patient does little but sits and follows instructions from the medical practitioner. Thus, the one engaged with the action is a gynecologist. It is a lady gynecologist because of the female hair. The gynecologist performs certain health care services. In this case, she is a care giver and has embarked on helping out the patient sort out her reproductive health concerns. The fourth question talks about the agency: how do the agents act, and by what means? In general, gynecologists ask patients things to do with their medical history. They examine patients as well as other lab tests. They then explain the review treatment options and test results with their patients and immediate families, if any. Should there be several options for treatment available, gynecologists help their patients pick on one choice. They also watch keenly the patient’s condition and execute changes is need be (Fiske, Gilbert, & Lindzey, 2010).
The last question seeks to find the purpose: why do the agents act? What is their desire? The medical practitioner, in this case a gynecologist, seeks the achievement of quality healthcare to patients (Matteoli, 2011). She seeks to treat the female’s reproductive system if there is any complication. The agents have to examine their patients before they become pregnant. Often, they diagnose STDs, carry out pap smears, or perform grave operations like hysterectomies. The patient does not appear to be pregnant; therefore, the gynecologist is not performing any childbirth procedure. Nonetheless, medical practitioners working as GYNs or OBs usually diagnose, or closely monitor women when they are pregnant. They also give advice for healthy living during the entire pregnancy (Malle & Holbrook, 2009). They check to ensure that everything is normal with regards to the fetus or woman’s general health during pregnancy. Thus, gynecologists want to ensure that the reproductive health of their patients is safeguarded.
In conclusion, the basis of dramatism is the conception of motive, according to Burke. It depicts the rationale as to why people do what they do. From the text above, it is possible to discover the motives behind the actors by finding out their type of motivation in discourse and action. The analysis has used Burke’s pentad, which consists of five questions that can be asked with regards to any discourse to commence teasing out the motivation. Dramatism, as Burke advances, is discerned by its heavy dependence on theatrical metaphor. The dramaturgists view individuals as actors on a metaphorical stage engage in certain roles. Burke sees the individual as both a neurological and biological being, differentiated by the ability to act and the behavior of using symbols. Often, people create symbols, use symbols and can misuse symbols. These symbols include both linguistic and non-verbal components. In itself, history is logic of shared history. No word is unbiased. Consequently, a person’s judgments, attitudes, and feeling habitually materialize in the language he or she uses. Language acts as a medium for action. As Burke put it, life is not like a dram; for a fact, it is a drama.