Conversation and Re-Listening as a Means of Hearing One Another: Lawmakers, Practitioners and Criminologists

Elizabeth C. Gray, Substantial Associates

This paper discusses the results of ten gatherings in which participants from varying backgrounds met in a neutral setting, with rules of discussion in place to address violence, particularly murder in the community. After analysis by non-present others, the same participants met and reacted to their own recorded statements. Some of the findings include recognition of how quickly social and economic distance between persons becomes perceptual reality. Strain theory was used as means of explanation and possible clarification of some issues. For example a politician, who started out saying, "I grew up here," later in the discussion, repeatedly made the statement, "You people." This seed project will hopefully continue and be enhanced by further research.

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Updated 05/20/2006