Arguing in Today’s Culture
Through the reading of An Argument Culture by Deborah Tannen, I have come to understand what has always been apparent; we live in a vocal society that will challenge what they do not agree with. Tannen states, “American tradition has geared toward the promotion of antagonism.” We believe that our opinion matters and most times that it is the right one even without further information to back our point in the argument. American society pushes the act of debate and refuting what is heard, the “argument culture” so to say encouraging from a young age to argue for your position. Our society relies on debates to choose our public officials, holding, as Tannen refers to them, “verbal wars” allowing the candidates to bash each other and then make promises that relate to only to what we think but not what is most correct or best for the general public. Our lives are now based not off of open discussion and opinion but off of a two sided argument where only one side can be considered the right opinion otherwise risk, “scouring the margins of science or fringes of lunacy to find it.” Tanner also discusses the point of high technology communication, a newfound reliance on texting and email has caused a lack in communication skills between people especially in today’s youth. Tanner states that, “One of the most effective ways to defuse antagonism between two groups is to provide a forum for individuals from those groups to get to know each other personally.” She feels that we must teach people to communicate as effectively as we do over media in person to help shape how we do business in the future. While many jobs now require and rely on you to be capable in media usage it is still important to have verbal and personal communication skills necessary to advancing through life. Tanner states that we must end this two-sided way of thinking to help end the argument culture. By ending this we must discourage debating whenever possible...
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