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  • © 2017

The Politics of Listening

Possibilities and Challenges for Democratic Life

Authors:

  • Focuses on the challenge of listening and its importance, rather than speaking and voice

  • Integrates theoretical and empirical perspectives

  • Develops an on-going dialogue between sociology and politics

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eBook USD 54.99
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  • ISBN: 978-1-137-53167-4
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  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 69.99
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Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-ix
  2. Why a Politics of Listening?

    • Leah Bassel
    Pages 1-15
  3. Creative Alternatives

    • Leah Bassel
    Pages 53-70
  4. Listening as Solidarity

    • Leah Bassel
    Pages 71-87
  5. Conclusion

    • Leah Bassel
    Pages 89-91
  6. Back Matter

    Pages 93-112

About this book

This book explores listening as a social and political practice, in contrast to the more common focus on voice and speaking.  The author draws on cases from Canada, France and the United Kingdom, exploring: minority women and debates over culture and religion; riots and young men in France and England; citizen journalism and the creative use of different media; and solidarity between migrant justice and indigenous activists. Analysis across these diverse settings considers whether and how a politics of listening, which demands that the roles of speakers and listeners change, can be undertaken in adversarial and tense political moments. The Politics of Listening argues that such a practice has the potential to create new ways of being and acting together, as political equals who are heard on their own terms.

The book will appeal to students and scholars across a range of disciplines, including sociology and political theory.

Keywords

  • Muslim women
  • riots
  • sociology
  • France
  • Canada

Reviews

“What is it to take seriously in actual political practice the ideal of equality which motivated so many struggles for democracy? It is to take seriously the politics of listening, as Leah Bassel argues in this very cogent and sharp new book. Through nicely balanced case studies, Bassel succeeds in taking the abstract ideal of listening into those moments when people confront those in the media who portray them, or fight to be visible at all, as in the recent migrants crisis. A valuable contribution to the growing literature on voice.” (Nick Couldry, London School of Economics and Political Science, Author of Why Voice Matters)

“This beautiful and compelling book argues engaged scholarship today requires a mutually reinforcing commitment to both listening and politics. For Leah Bassel, how we listen to people – from First Nation Peoples in Canada to young Muslim women in France – is as important as why we want to hear them. What she offers us is a politics of listening committed to deep forms of dialogue that challenge unequal distributions of voice and power. We have never needed a book like this one more than now.” (Les Back, Goldsmiths, University of London, author of The Art of Listening)

“Leah Bassel's work illuminates listening as a site of political struggle between and among citizens, non-citizens, and the state. Her careful case studies show how audibility is organized through particular constructions of ‘us’ and ‘them’, and the impact this has on both the form and content of political action. While the first two case studies demonstrate the narrative strategies through which not-listening is reproduced, the second two prefigure what political listening as a practice of equality might look (or sound) like. The insights provided by Bassel's discerning treatment of these cases will be valuable for researchers in a wide variety of fields, and hopefully inspiring to us as political actors as well.” (Susan Bickford, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, author of The Dissonance of Democracy)

Authors and Affiliations

  • School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom

    Leah Bassel

About the author

Leah Bassel is Associate Professor in the School of Media, Communication and Sociology at the University of Leicester, UK.  Her research interests include the political sociology of gender, migration, race and citizenship.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-137-53167-4
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)