[Above: Author Introduction Video]
Jacquelyn Yvonne McCray, PhD, is a 2014 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Dr. Philomena Essed, Dissertation Chair, [Left] with Dr. Jacquelyn McCray [Right] after her Dissertation Defense, May, 2014,
The research explored the interactions and experiences of participants and facilitators in civic deliberative dialogue and how they worked through tension and conflict. The dissertation question asked: What is the lived experience of participants and facilitators of civic deliberative dialogue and how do group members collectively move beyond tensions and disagreements that surface during dialogue processes? The study analyzed the joint influences of tension and disagreement within the context of seven deliberative dialogues convened on the topics of race, race relations and racism. Grounded theory methodology was used to analyze qualitative research data collected from participant volunteers and facilitators. A constructivist approach, grounded theory allowed for evaluation of the interactions of participants derived from informal observations of the deliberative dialogue process and from research data gathered through semi-structured interviews, open and axial coding, and constant comparison. Using dimensional analysis, theoretical propositions emerged which convey new understanding about the ways deliberative dialogue participants confronted the difficult topics of race and racism, their shifts in perspective, and new understanding and insights generated during the process. Civic deliberative dialogue puts everyday people at the center of local problem solving. As a form of local engagement, it arms civic groups with an approach and practice for tackling difficult issues through authentic conversations that build relationships and offers a means for peeling back divergent thoughts, opinions, and interests. The civic dialogue literature includes little about confrontation and opposition during deliberative dialogue. The research produced three theoretical propositions ("creating space to move from tension to healing"; "heart stories, hurt stories—hearing and understanding differently"; and "sustaining the conversation, bridging the divide"), adds to the body of scholarly literature on civic engagement and lends understanding about how sustained deliberative dialogue promotes grassroots leadership, and creates an environment of civility and working through (Yankelovich, 1991) for healthier, more productive communities. This dissertation is accompanied by a video file (MP4), author introduction, and a PDF of a PowerPoint file used during the dissertation defense. The electronic version of this Dissertation is at AURA, http://aura.antioch.edu/etds/ and OhioLink ETD Center, www.ohiolink.edu/etd'
McCray, J. Y. (2014). Civic Deliberative Dialogue and the Topic of Race: Exploring the Lived Experience of Everyday Citizens and Their Encounters with Tension and Conflict. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/139
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