Location

University of Windsor

Document Type

Paper

Keywords

reasonable hostility, civility, argument, conduct norm, public hearing, citizen testimony, civil unions, same-sex marriage, discourse, grounded practical theory

Start Date

18-5-2011 9:00 AM

End Date

21-5-2011 5:00 PM

Abstract

“Reasonable hostility” is a norm of communicative conduct initially developed by studying public exchanges in education governance meetings in local U.S. communities. In this paper I consider the norm’s usefulness for and applicability to a U.S. state-level public hearing about a bill to legalize civil unions. Following an explication of reasonable hostility and grounded practical theory, the approach to inquiry that guides my work, I describe Hawaii’s 2009, 18-hour public hearing and analyze selected seg-ments of it. I show that this particular public hearing raised demands for testifiers on the anti-civil union side of the argument that reasonable hostility does not do a good job of addressing. Development of a norm of communication conduct for this practice, as well as others, must engage with the culture and time-specific beliefs that a society holds, beliefs that will shape not only how to argue but what may be argued and what must be assumed about particular categories of persons.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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May 18th, 9:00 AM May 21st, 5:00 PM

Monologue, dilogue or polylogue: Which model for public deliberation?

University of Windsor

“Reasonable hostility” is a norm of communicative conduct initially developed by studying public exchanges in education governance meetings in local U.S. communities. In this paper I consider the norm’s usefulness for and applicability to a U.S. state-level public hearing about a bill to legalize civil unions. Following an explication of reasonable hostility and grounded practical theory, the approach to inquiry that guides my work, I describe Hawaii’s 2009, 18-hour public hearing and analyze selected seg-ments of it. I show that this particular public hearing raised demands for testifiers on the anti-civil union side of the argument that reasonable hostility does not do a good job of addressing. Development of a norm of communication conduct for this practice, as well as others, must engage with the culture and time-specific beliefs that a society holds, beliefs that will shape not only how to argue but what may be argued and what must be assumed about particular categories of persons.