Public stories in public dialogue: Structures of a university faculty senate's democratic public culture
AuthorFonte, Anita Carol, 1949-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFrom my previous community work, I had a sense that recognizing the pattern of how and why public stories emerge in public dialogue was an important part of understanding and strengthening a democratic public culture. I studied the public dialogue of the University of Arizona Faculty Senate in part because I belong to this community. I observed six public meetings of the faculty senate, developed field notes, analytical memos, listened to and transcribed the audiotapes of the faculty meetings, and analyzed the sixteen public stories from those meetings. I developed a new research methodology for understanding public stories in public dialogue which uses combined perspectives of ethnographic, conversational and narrative analysis. I analyzed the research through the lens and audiophone of a critical ethnographer in order to see and hear the public stories in public dialogue and understand the faculty senate's democratic public culture. The results of my research show that the UA faculty senate's public speech is partially demonstrated by public speech which includes public stories in public dialogue. The results show that the democratic public culture of the UA faculty senate is functional, fragile and fragmented. This juxtaposition of characteristics is, to some degree, mediated by public stories which develop as trigger stories. Trigger stories are produced when one of Grice's conversational maxims--functioning as norms of interaction--quality or quantity is violated. In this research, other norms of interpretation, specifically, equality as moral power or relationship building do not generate trigger stories. This research is important for understanding and strengthening the public speech of the UA faculty senate and its democratic public culture. Also, the method of story and dialogue analysis developed in this research can be applied to other democratic public cultures.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading and Culture