Scrutinizing and Listening to Stories

in Talking about Race

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780226869063
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226869087 | DOI:
Scrutinizing and Listening to Stories

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This chapter probes how people are using civic dialogue by paying particular attention to the forms of public talk that they use. It examines the modes of talk that people put into practice and how people negotiate a balance between unity and difference as they do so. To contribute to the dialogues, people offer up reports of personal experiences from their lives or from the lives of people to whom they have a personal attachment. In this way, they convey to each other their perceptions of their community. Storytelling pervades many forms of face-to-face public talk. Storytelling, simply put, is the act of providing a narrative about experience from one's own life, either a specific event or reference to a pattern of events. These narratives are not necessarily fully developed stories, with a plot and an elaborate series of events. In the race dialogues they are typically brief reports of personal experience.

Keywords: civic dialogue; public talk; community; storytelling; race; personal experience

Chapter.  9925 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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