Mistrust, Information, and Legitimation: Justifying Citizenship Decisions

in Citizen Speak

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780226660790
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226660783 | DOI:
Mistrust, Information, and Legitimation: Justifying Citizenship Decisions

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This chapter focuses on narratives. The strategic resources people mobilized in the focus groups fall into three general categories: (1) those based on personal experiences or the experiences of friends; (2) those based on reading or viewing the news media; and (3) those based on fictional “experiences” such as those in movies and television programs. These resources are similar in that they generally take narrative form: they are stories told in strategic context; as such, unpacking their meaning in the group becomes a significant interpretive task for other members. Narratives help build democratic imagination by providing comparative cases: preevaluated, or at least self-evaluating, events that lend moral and intellectual meaning to new situations.

Keywords: narratives; democratic imagination; comparative cases; focus groups; citizenship; experiences

Chapter.  8889 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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