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ERIC Number: EJ918292
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1478-2103
The Paradox of Dialogue
Murphy, Peter
Policy Futures in Education, v9 n1 p22-28 2011
The Council of Europe's 2008 "White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue" signalled--with a measure of deep concern--the limits of multiculturalism and its attendant problems of identity politics, communal segregation, and the undermining of rights and freedoms in culturally closed communities. The White Paper proposed the replacement of the policy of multiculturalism with a policy of intercultural dialogue. The article in response reflects on the paradoxical nature of all discursive models of dialogue, including that of the Council of Europe, and suggests in its place a dramaturgical model of dialogue. All forms of dialogue that rely on discursive interaction run into the problem of incommensurable values, principles and ultimate authorities. From Weber and Kelsen to Castoriadis and Lyotard, this problem has been well assayed. It is not surmountable by the length, relative intensity or presumptive civility of a dialogue. Neither "willingness to listen" nor "open-mindedness"--let alone "debate" and "argument"--can solve the deep, difficult aporias of fundamental value conflicts. Nor can appeals to human rights, democracy and the rule of law, though the Council of Europe believes otherwise. We live in a world where liberal values of these kinds are routinely contested by militant pre-enlightenment communities. Dialogue can make no substantive difference to this. What then can? Historically and structurally, patrimonial cultures are only transformed under dramaturgical conditions. The article explores how the modern society of strangers mobilizes role playing, public acting, dramatic dialogism and various types of social dramaturgy (afforded especially by the anonymous theatre of its cities, markets and publics), and causes thereby the ironic incorporation or else the gradual withering-away of patrimonies, patriarchies and other kinds of pre-enlightenment communities. (Contains 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A