Exploring the Role of Listening in Participation. -- CANCELLED

Monday, July 14, 2014: 3:45 PM
Room: Booth 65
Rebecca LAFORGIA , Law, Adelaide University, adelaide, Australia
This paper will review the work on listening as a democratic skill in participation, particularly online participation. Crawford, writing in the context of the applying listening in the context of online activity, draws on the work of Jonathan Crary who observes there is in our times ‘an ongoing crisis of attentiveness.’  Crawford proposes that emphasizing listening as an approach offers a counterpoint to this.  So too listening theorist Beard has written that there may well be “an ethical listening subject.” He argues this subject will make  “the choice to listen selectively.” This does not mean Beard explains to only those points at which we feel “safe” but rather to think about why and how we listen and to seek out listening points rather than being passive receivers of endless information. Having explored elements of listening theory drawing on Kennedy and Beard this is then applied in the context of environmental issues. The recent work of Holifield will also be reviewed; this work argues that listening and ecology have a relationship.  Drawing on quite different theoretical foundations nevertheless Beard and Holifield argue this listening then in turn creates the ‘self’.  The listening approach to online participation therefore has value in contributing to cosmopolitan ideas. While it does not create a theory of cosmopolitanism it does deal with common themes from cosmopolitan thinkers who grapple with the universal, the voices of all, and the self.   Listening writers therefore offer an important perspective to the project of enhancing democracy.