What should count as legitimate forms of reasoning in public deliberation is a contested issue. Democratic theorists have argued that storytelling may offer a more accessible form of deliberation for marginalised citizens than ‘rational argumentation’. We investigate the empirical support for this claim by examining Swedish citizens’ use of storytelling in written communication with the political establishment. We test whether stories are used frequently, as well as by whom, and how they are used. We find that storytelling is (1) rare, (2) not more frequent among people with nonmainstream views, and (3) used together with rational argumentation. In line with some previous research, we show that stories still play other important roles: authorising the author, undermining political opponents and, most often, further supporting arguments made in ‘rational’ form. The results suggest that people rely more on rational argumentation than storytelling when expecting interlocutors to be hostile to their views.
Black, L.W. (2008) Deliberation, storytelling, and dialogic moments, Communication Theory, 18: 93–116. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2885.2007.00315.x
Black, L.W. (2009) Listening to the city: difference, identity, and storytelling in online deliberative groups, Journal of Public Deliberation 5(1): 1–35.
Borevi, K. (2017) Diversity and solidarity in Denmark and Sweden, In K. Banting and W. Kymlicka (eds) The strains of commitment: The political sources of solidarity in diverse, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 364–88.
Boswell, J. (2013) Why and how narrative matters in deliberative systems, Political Studies, 61(3): 620–36. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9248.2012.00987.x
Calhoun, C. (2010) The public sphere in the field of power, Social Science History, 34(3): 301–35. doi: 10.1017/S0145553200011287
Chambers, S. (2003) Deliberative democratic theory, Annual Review of Political Science 6: 307–26. doi: 10.1146/annurev.polisci.6.121901.085538
Chambers, S. (2012) Deliberation and mass democracy, In J. Parkinson and J. Mansbridge (eds), Deliberative systems: Deliberative democracy at the large scale, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, pp. 52–71.
Cramer Walsh, K. (2007) Talking about race: Community dialogues and the politics of difference, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Crow, D. and Jones, M. (2018) Narratives as tools for influencing policy change, Policy and Politics, 46(2): 217–34. doi: 10.1332/030557318X15230061022899
Douglass, F. (2003) The life and times of Frederick Douglass, Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc.
Dryzek, J.S. and Niemeyer, S. (2008) Discursive representation, American Political Science Review, 102(4): 481–93. doi: 10.1017/S0003055408080325
Edgell, P., Hull, K.E. and Green, K. (2016) Reasoning together through telling stories: how people talk about social controversies, Qualitative Sociology, 39: 1–26. doi: 10.1007/s11133-015-9321-4
Epstein, D., Heich, J. and Farina, C.R. (2014) The value of words: narrative as evidence in policymaking, Evidence & Policy, 10(2), 243–58. doi: 10.1332/174426514X13990325021128
Ercan, S.A. and Dryzek, J.S. (2015) The reach of deliberative democracy, Policy Studies, 36(3): 241–8.
Ercan, S.A., Hendriks, C.M. and Dryzek, J.S. (2019) Public deliberation in an era of communicative plenty, Policy & Politics, 47(1): 19–36. doi: 10.1332/030557318X15200933925405
Farina, C., Epstein, D., Heidt, J. and Newhart, M.J. (2014) Designing an online civic engagement platform: Balancing ‘more’ vs ‘better’ participation in complex public policymaking, International Journal of E-Politics, 5(1): 16–40. doi: 10.4018/ijep.2014010102
Fludernik, M. (1996) Towards a ‘natural’ narratology, London: Routledge.
Fraser, N. (1990) Rethinking the public sphere: a contribution to the critique of actually existing democracy, Social Text, (25/26): 56–80. doi: 10.2307/466240
Fuji Johnson, G., Black, L.W. and Knobloch, K.R. (2017) Citizens’ initiative review process: mediating emotions, promoting productive deliberation, Policy and Politics, 45(3): 431–47. doi: 10.1332/030557316X14595273846060
Gutmann, A. and Thompson, D. (1996) Democracy and disagreement: Why moral conflict cannot be avoided in politics, and what can be done about it, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Habermas, J. (1996) Between facts and norms: Contributions to a discourse theory of law and democracy, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Hochschild, A.R. (2016) Strangers in their own land: Anger and mourning on the american right, New York: The New Press.
Hochschild, A.R. (2017) A Response to William Davies’ A Review of Arlie Russell Hochschild’s Strangers in their own land: Anger and mourning on the American right, International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, 30(4): 421–3.
Holdo, M. (2015) Strategies of deliberation: Bourdieu and struggles over legitimate positions, Political Studies, 63(5): 1103–19. doi: 10.1111/1467-9248.12139
Holdo, M. (2016) Deliberative capital: recognition in participatory budgeting, Critical Policy Studies, 10(4): 391–409. doi: 10.1080/19460171.2015.1077718
Krzyżanowski, M. (2018) We are a small country that has done enormously lot’: the “refugee crisis” and the hybrid discourse of politicizing immigration in Sweden, Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 16(1–2): 97–117.
Mansbridge, J. (1999) Everyday talk in the deliberative system, In S. Macedo (ed), Deliberative politics, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 211–42.
Mansbridge, J., Bohman, J., Chambers, S., Christiano, T. et al (2012) A systemic approach to deliberative democracy, In J. Parkinson and J. Mansbridge (Eds.) Deliberative systems: Deliberative democracy at the large scale, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–26.
Öberg, P. and Uba, K. (2014) Civil society making political claims: outcries, interest advocacy, and deliberative claims, Public Administration Review, 74(3): 413–22.
Öberg, P. (2016) Interest organizations in the policy process: Interest advocacy and political advice, In J. Pierre (ed.) The Oxford handbook of Swedish politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 663–78.
Orr, K. and Bennett, M. (2017) Relational leadership, storytelling, and narratives: practices of local government chief executives, Public Administration Review 77(4): 515–27. doi: 10.1111/puar.12680
Ottonelli, V. (2017) Democratic deliberation, respect and personal storytelling, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 20(5): 601–18. doi: 10.1080/13698230.2017.1328091
Owen, D. and Smith, G. (2015) Survey article: deliberation, democracy, and the systemic turn, Journal of Political Philosophy 23(2): 213–34. doi: 10.1111/jopp.12054
Pedrini, S. (2014) Deliberative capacity in the political and civic sphere, Swiss Political Science Review, 20(2): 263–86. doi: 10.1111/spsr.12074
Polletta, F. and Lee, J. (2006) Is telling stories good for democracy? Rhetoric in public deliberation after 9/11, American Sociological Review, 71(5): 699–721. doi: 10.1177/000312240607100501
Polletta, F., Chen, P.C.B., Gardner, B.G. and Motes, A. (2011) The sociology of storytelling, Annual Review of Sociology, 37: 109–30. doi: 10.1146/annurev-soc-081309-150106
Prince, G. (1982) Narratology: The form and functioning of narrative, Berlin: Mouton.
Ryfe, D.M. (2006) Narrative and deliberation in small group forum, Journal of Applied Communication Research, 34(1): 72–93. doi: 10.1080/00909880500420226
Sandberg, L. and Demker, M. (2014) Starkare oro för främlingsfientlighet än för invandring, In A. Bergström and H. Oscarsson (eds), Mittfåra and marginal, Göteborg: SOM-institutet, Göteborgs universitet.
Sanders, L.M. (1997) Against deliberation, Political Theory, 25: 347–76. doi: 10.1177/0090591797025003002
Schärdel, J. and König, P. (2017) Professors, comedians and billionaires: an empirical analysis of newspaper coverage of new Eurosceptic parties in three 2013 national elections, Comparative European Politics, 15(2): 310–35.
Schneiderhan, E. and Khan, S. (2008) Reasons and inclusion: the foundation of deliberation, Sociological Theory, 26(1): 1–24. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9558.2008.00316.x
Sprain, L. and Hughes, J.M. (2015) A new perspective on stories in public deliberation: analyzing small stories in discussions about immigration, Text and Talk, 35(4): 531–51. doi: 10.1515/text-2015-0013
Young, I.M. (2000) Inclusion and democracy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
|May 2022 onwards||Past Year||Past 30 Days|
|Full Text Views||35||23||0|