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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 Away from Home

Tables Away from Home

(p.127) Chapter Four Tables Away from Home
Table Talk

Janet A. Flammang

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on table conversations that take place outside the home. More specifically, it considers in-depth cases of how our civic selves are developed through conversations in a variety of settings such as friends' homes, schools, camps, colleges, religious institutions, firehouses, addiction-recovery programs, gang prevention programs, and the military. After discussing commensality and conversation found at school tables, the chapter examines table talk that transpires at camp tables, college tables, religious tables, male tables, homies dinners, military meals, and at meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and other programs for recovering addicts. It shows that people gathered at tables away from home emulate domestic tables by re-creating “family” or “comfort” or “safety,” all of which help an individual find his/her voice in conversations.

Keywords:   table conversations, civic selves, commensality, school tables, table talk, homies dinners, military meals, family

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