Contemporary democratic discourses are frequently, though not exclusively, characterized by an attitude of ‘pro and con' where the aim is to persuade others, a jury or an audience, of what is right and what is wrong. Challenging such procedures, this book teases out an alternative model of public discourse that is based in collaboration and deliberation. The African philosophy of ubuntu offers valuable insights in this regard as it implies relational notions of power that contrast and complement individualist facets. It provides the space to think and speak in ways that support harmonious and cohesive societal structures and practices. The book’s model of communication rests on the premise that the various interests of individuals and groups, while richly diverse, can be conceived of as profoundly bound-up rather than incompatible. In this way communication enables broader lines of action and a wider scope for achieving diversity and common ground.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Discourse, Culture and Ubuntu 2. Discourse, Power and Ubuntu 3. Argument Culture 4. Deliberation Culture 5. Conclusion
Leyla Tavernaro-Haidarian is a media professional and communication specialist researching in the areas of communication, public discourse, education and governance at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.