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How People Talk About Politics
Brexit and Beyond1389
During the Brexit referendum campaign it became clear how easily national conversations around politics could become raucous and bitter. This book explores the nature of talking about politically contentious issues and how our society can begin to develop a more constructive culture of political talk. Uniquely, this study focuses on citizens own experiences and reflections on developing, practising and evaluating their own political voices. Based on seventy in-depth interviews with a diverse range of people, Stephen Coleman explores the intricate nature of interpersonal political talk and what this means for public attitudes towards politics and how people negotiate their political identities. Engaging with a broad range of subjects from Political Communication to Sociology this book offers valuable insight into how the public can discuss politically turbulent topics in a meaningful and constructive way.
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Everyone likes to talk, fewer like to listen. Fortunately, Stephen Coleman is wonderfully good at listening. In his book, Coleman listens to ordinary people discuss politics, telling us what they say but also how they wish to be heard. Coleman exhibits great generosity when doing so and, when combined with his own deft interpretations, a masterwork results. How People Talk About Politics is a book to be read but also a book to be savored. * Dr Roderick P. Hart, Shivers Centennial Chair in Communication and Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin, USA * 'Stephen Coleman has listened to what a range of British people have to say about their everyday political conversations: how and why they talk (or don't talk) about politics, and how they feel about political talk. Their accounts become the basis for a nuanced set of arguments about what's gone wrong with democratic discourse, and what could be done to make things better.' * Deborah Cameron, Professor of Language and Communication, Oxford University, UK *
Stephen Coleman is Professor of Political Communication at the University of Leeds. He has written and edited nine books, including Can The Internet Strengthen Democracy?, and has published over a hundred peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals. He led the research evaluations of the UK televised election debates in 2010, 2015 and 2017. The seventy interviews conducted for this research were funded by the British Academy.
Chapter 1 - Political talk as social practice Chapter 2 - Biographical feelings Chapter 3 - Performing the political genre Chapter 4 - Taking positions on Brexit Chapter 5 - Unintelligible subjects Chapter 6 - We need to talk - but how? Appendix - About the research method Index