Avoiding or Accepting Conflict in Public Talk
British Journal of Political Science
GB : Cambridge University Press
1 - 22 p.
This article gives an account of experimental research conducted in France with focus groups on delinquency. It is based on theoretical work which shows how the political is partly a mode of expression as well as a way of addressing conflict. An empirical analysis is presented of how people take or resist the risk of conflict in public discussion over social issues. The group discussions corroborate previous insights by attesting that conflict in public discussion is generally latent and often repressed. Specific analysis follows of those processes that contribute to the rare transformation from latent to overt conflict, highlighting the evidence that the public expression of conflict proceeds from participants' alliances and biographical narratives. Moreover, a certain hierarchy of social identification is seen among the participants. The influence of political competence on political implication is complex.