Chapter

Beyond Romance and Demons

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226869087.003.0010
Beyond Romance and Demons

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The love of deliberative democracy runs deep in the United States. The myth of the Lincoln-Douglas debates expresses nostalgia for a time of vigorous civic involvement that never actually occurred, and romantic images of New England town meetings overlook the grittiness of the exchanges that actually take place. Even intergroup dialogues display behavior that is not simply brotherly love or a striving for mutual understanding. This book has shown that cities throughout the United States are using public talk to address race relations. In these intergroup civic dialogue programs, small racially diverse groups of volunteers come together over repeated sessions to talk face-to-face about race. This dialogue is intended to enable listening to the perspectives of others in the community as a way to improve understanding.

Keywords: deliberative democracy; United States; civic involvement; New England; intergroup dialogues; public talk; race; community; race relations

Chapter.  8504 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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