"Dances With Wolves" and the Social Penetration Theory
This paper uses the social penetration theory to analyze "Dances With Wolves", the novel written by Michael Blake and the film directed by Kevin Costner.
# 64910 | 1,540 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2005 |
Published on Apr 09, 2006 in Literature (American) , Sociology (Theory) , Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.)
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This paper explains that Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor's social penetration theory suggests as relationships grow deeper as self-disclosure deepens and uses social exchange theory, also called the game theory, to analyze the cost-reward balance of these self-disclosures. The author points out that "Dancing With Wolves" provides excellent examples of how totally different cultures can both attract and repel one another, how friendships and trust are formed by deeds not just words and how different intersecting strata of social and cultural lives either repel or attract one another. The paper relates that it teaches that the differences among people tend to be created without truly being aware of one another and can be resolved as those "onion skin" layers are removed revealing our true inner personalities.
From the Paper:"There are many examples of initial encounters in "Dances With Wolves", and the manner of the meeting does not always provide the result of closeness, of course. What makes the novel so fascinating is the contact, verbal and non-verbal that links the white man with the Comanche, and prepares him for a life he had never known or understood before. Was it simply loneliness or necessity that brought these encounters to fruition? Is social penetration merely a theory that evolves as social circumstances change? Are we different, socially, today, than were the people in the post-Civil War era covered by this novel?"
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