Rosales outsiders. The result, she says, is
Rosales 1 Cecilia Rosales Professor Allen Final Summary-Response Essay 16 October 2011 Argument Culture: Confrontation Online In “The Argument Culture” by Deborah Tannen, she describes our adversarial society in debates and dialogues. Tannen discusses our culture’s style of seeing issues, questions, and conflicts as having two sides that battle each other for one goal. She states that using war metaphors: war on drugs or fight against AIDS, makes every conflict a battle in the minds of outsiders.
The result, she says, is that the quality of information received is compromised.According to Tannen, language “invisibly molds our way of thinking about people, actions and the world around us”. In politics, she points out the increasingly warring mentality, whether at election time, during confirmation hearings, or immediately following the president’s State of the Union address when an opposing response must always be presented. Tannen distinguishes that some look forward to confrontation for many reasons, as well as enjoying a good debate, and that some issues do have two sides to it.
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The argument culture makes us distort facts, waste valuable time, limits our thinking, and encourages us to lie (Tannen 491-492).She warns against the way the culture of critique, by plummeting every issue to two sides, can destroy the tone and complexity of a discussion and even value too highly of opinions. Tannen believes that thinking of solutions as having more than just two sides Rosales 2 will help this problem. Instead of looking at an issue as “good and bad” or “pros and cons”, we should diversify the paths to take to get to a certain goal. Tannen discusses the influence of electronic communication in ratcheting up the level of aggression.According to Terrance O’Brien, the percentage of internet in homes in 2009 had tripled in the last ten years. With an increase in the use and knowledge of technology in the last decade, people can clash with others’ different opinions anonymously through phone calls, text messages, message boards, blogs, etc.
Anonymously, people can be as nasty or say as much as they want to that one other person or others. The argument culture is widely spread throughout the internet. Through the internet, some pinpoint others, and sometimes do not have to suffer the consequences.Dragoncave quotes a short excerpt from For Argument’s Sake; Why Do We Feel Compelled to Fight About Everything? by Deborah Tannen, “But perhaps the most dangerous harvest of the ethic of aggression and ritual fighting is .
. . an atmosphere of animosity that spreads like a fever. In extreme forms, it rears its head in road rage and workplace shooting sprees. In more common forms, it leads to what is being decried everywhere as a lack of civility.
It erodes our sense of human connection to those in public life—and to the strangers who cross our paths and people in our private lives”.In this excerpt, she explains how animosity is slowly tearing down the human “connection” aspect to public living. With online confrontations, if you do not like the opposing side(s), you could just close the browser, in person, you could walk away, but it would be much harder. Rosales 3 Usually confrontation is between those who like debates and those who do not. Those who are not comfortable with confrontation are most likely the ones to be approached by those who enjoy a little conflict. In a school setting, the children who like to include themselves aggressively with others are most likely known as bullies.
The students that are being bullied and do not like confrontation or conflict with others, are usually known as the victims. The “other side”, also known as the third side, are the students standing by watching the bullying be done, which are known as the stand by. The stand by has two options: step in and help the victim or stand by, literally, and just let it all happen. Deborah Tannen states that sometimes it is “necessary and right to fight”. If someone is speaking down on your family, country, or yourself, then it is necessary to fight.
Anything else can usually be avoided by ignoring the ignorance and stay on your path to happiness. Tannen’s article on the argument culture is mind opening and gives a new insight on how issues have more than one side. Society needs to develop a new process of approaching issues. “Instead of asking, “What’s the other side? ” we might ask, “What are the other sides? ” Instead of insisting on hearing “both sides,” let’s insist on hearing “all sides,”” says Tannen. Rather than using war metaphors, society use more positive words that could help mold a path to greatness, instead of a path to destruction.Rosales 4 Work Cited Dragoncave.
“Against Argument Culture. ” September 9, 2008. http://artdurkee.
blogspot. com/2008/09/against-argument-culture. html. O’Brien, Terrance.
“Percentage of Homes With Internet Triples in the Past 10 Years. ” June 7, 2009. http://www. switched. com/2009/06/07/percentage-of-homes-with-internet-triples-in-the-past-10-years/.
Tannen, Deborah. “The Argument Culture. ” Purpose and Process: A Reader for Writers. 5th ed.
Ed. Stephen Reid. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2004. 488-492. Print.