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Challenges of Ordinary Democracy A Case Study in Deliberation and Dissent

ISBN-10: 0271036907
ISBN-13: 9780271036908
Edition: 2010
Authors: Karen Tracy
List price: $21.95 Buy it from $17.98
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Description: Is there any place in America where passionate debate plays a more vital role in democratic discourse than local school board meetings? Karen Tracy conducted a thirty-five-month study of the board meetings of the Boulder Valley School District  More...

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Book details

List price: $21.95
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Publication date: 1/19/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 264
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

Is there any place in America where passionate debate plays a more vital role in democratic discourse than local school board meetings? Karen Tracy conducted a thirty-five-month study of the board meetings of the Boulder Valley School District between 1996 and 1999 to analyze just how democracy operates in practice. In Challenges of Ordinary Democracy, she reveals the major role that emotion plays in real-life debate and discerns value in what might easily be seen as negative forms of discourse-voicing platitudes, making contradictory assertions, arguing over a document's wording, speaking angrily, attacking people's character. By illuminating this one arena of "ordinary democracy," Tracy hopes to engender a new appreciation for how what she calls "reasonable hostility" can be a desirable ideal of communication for debating public policy issues.

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
Public Meetings: Ordinary Democracy's Home
A Historical Snapshot: Three Years of BVSD Life
"Democracy": An Ideal with Traction
Citizen Participation, Doing Dissent
Newspapers in the Cycle of Political Upheaval
The Campaign: The Usefulness of Platitudes and Personal Attack
A Fight over Words and Policy
One Meeting: Six Observations
Reasonable Hostility in Ordinary Democracy
Postscript: Education Governance in Twenty-First-Century America
Appendix: The Method and Data
References
Index

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