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Table Talk – Building Democracy One Meal at a Time - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Table Talk: Building Democracy One Meal at a Time

Janet A. Flammang


Etiquette books insist that we never discuss politics during a meal. This book offers a polite rebuttal, presenting vivid firsthand accounts of people's lives at the table to show how mealtimes can teach us the conversational give-and-take foundational to democracy. Delving into the ground rules about listening, sharing, and respect that we obey when we break bread, the book shows how conversations and table activities represent occasions for developing our civil selves. If there are cultural differences over practices—who should speak, what behavior is acceptable, what topics are off limits, ... More

Keywords: table talk, mealtimes, democracy, listening, sharing, respect, conversations, conversational skills, civil society, empathy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780252040290
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017 DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252040290.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Janet A. Flammang, author
Santa Clara University