How People Communicate during Deliberative Events

Laura W. Black

in Democracy in Motion

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199899265
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980147 | DOI:
How People Communicate during Deliberative Events

Show Summary Details


This chapter reviews research on the communication that occurs during deliberative civic engagement events. A modest body of research indicates that deliberators communicate in ways that address deliberation's analytic tasks: providing information, identifying options, and weighing pros and cons of possible solutions. Deliberation events also show evidence of conversations that are respectful, egalitarian, and considerate of diverse views. Deliberators accomplish these tasks by stating opinions, making arguments, telling stories, raising questions, and, at times, disagreeing with each other. Overall, the studies reviewed here indicate that people in deliberative events communicate in productive ways that are relatively consistent with deliberative theory. Moreover, these studies indicate that emotional expressions and identity statements seem relevant to deliberators' experiences, but are not accounted for in current theory. Future research ought to consider these issues as well as how scholars can observe respect, key values, and comprehension in the communication that occurs in these events.

Keywords: argument; civic engagement; communication; deliberation; deliberative event; emotion; facilitation; identity; respect; storytelling

Chapter.  9580 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.