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Table TalkBuilding Democracy One Meal at a Time$
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Janet A. Flammang

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040290

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040290.001.0001

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Tables and Conflict

Tables and Conflict

(p.156) Chapter Five Tables and Conflict
Table Talk

Janet A. Flammang

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on difficult conversations as a source of conflict at the dinner table, at schools with at-risk youth, among same-sex marriage proponents talking to opponents, at Death Cafes (groups that meet socially to discuss the meaning of death), and at dispute mediation sessions. It examines how cultural and ethnic differences can give rise to table conflicts, such as cultural conflicts that emerge from the different food traditions of immigrant groups. It also considers various attempts to use table talk to address stereotypes among Christians, Jews, and Muslims; to educate Americans about Afghanis; and to bridge differences in views about homosexuality. Two high-conflict examples are discussed: civil right advocates who cooked for racial equality and Pittsburgh's Conflict Kitchen. The chapter shows that difficult conversations are always about facts, emotions, and identity.

Keywords:   difficult conversations, conflict, dispute mediation, cultural differences, ethnic differences, food traditions, table talk, stereotypes, Conflict Kitchen

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