The Ethics of Listening: Creating Space for Sustainable Dialogue (Hardback)
  • The Ethics of Listening: Creating Space for Sustainable Dialogue (Hardback)
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The Ethics of Listening: Creating Space for Sustainable Dialogue (Hardback)

(author)
£65.00
Hardback 270 Pages / Published: 15/01/2019
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There are ways of being in the world that create a flourishing life and other ways that restrict that life, both for ourselves and others. Listening is one of these ways of being. Listening gives shape to speaking, inviting other people into a dialogue that impacts our everyday lives. Our acts of listening, like all communication, are shaped by our cultural and individual differences. Unfortunately, as people consider ways to ethically listen, they often abide by a set of conversational rules that do not reflect or benefit their own or others' unique contexts and communities. In this book, Parks responds to gaps in scholarship related to listening in communication research and difference in ethics scholarship. Rather than imposing a rigid ethical norm that is unresponsive to diverse cultural practices, her proposed listening ethic is one that is highly contextualized and pluralistic and yet dares to make normative claims. Using discourse research methods that are both qualitative and quantitative, Parks goes beyond describing what listening is in a given context to what ethical listening should be. Empirical findings about listening from multiple communities that represent diverse ethnic, gender, and disability orientations are interwoven with insights from communication ethics to develop the first-ever dialogic ethics of listening that is empirically-based, culturally-grounded, and normative. Ten shared values emerge as guidelines for good listening in this ethic: be open, cultivate understanding, practice authenticity, engage in critical thinking, invest in relationship, care for the dialogue, focus on what matters, be intentionally present, remember the ongoing story, and be responsive to need. These values, while shared across cultures, may be expressed in a diverse and sometimes conflicting communicative practices. Ultimately, Parks proposes that ethical listening is best conceptualized as pursuit of sustainable hospitality in our dialogic interactions within and across difference. By understanding the ways that different people share listening values yet practice them differently, we can learn to trust each other and attest to the hope that ethical dialogue is possible.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781498573269
Number of pages: 270
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Elizabeth Parks thoughtfully connects narrative dialogue and learning to listening. She unfolds a conception of listening that is open to the text of the Other without imposition upon the Other. The interplay of learning, dialogue, narrative, and listening pivots upon the pragmatic performative metaphor of difference, framing an ethics of listening. -- Ronald C. Arnett, Duquesne University, author of Levinas's Rhetorical Demand: The Unending Obligation of Communication Ethics
Theoretically sophisticated and empirically grounded, The Ethics of Listening brings communication research into a new phase. Informed by fifty years of research in listening, Parks breaks new ground by decolonizing that research. Listening is an object of study, as Parks describes the processes of listening she observes in diverse communities. Listening is also her research methodology: in listening to diverse communities, she creates new models for listening practice and a new vision for ethical listening. The Ethics of Listening is valuable for its insights into listening, to be sure, but it is innovative as a model for communication research methods. -- David E. Beard, University of Minnesota Duluth
Just when you think you know what listening is, Parks comes along and provides a fresh perspective. Her work in identifying 10 listening values that transcend cross-cultural discourse is both contemporary and relevant. Parks helps us understand what makes us human. A must read for teachers, trainers, scholars, and humans! -- Laura Janusik, Rockhurst University
Although culture-specific approaches to listening have been acknowledged by research, the specifics of the challenges and options of a dialogic listening ethic have not been carved out. Parks offers a validated and insightful tableau of how to create the space for meaningful and healthy discourse through mindful listening. -- Margarete Imhof, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Most of the work on communication ethics has focused on the discourse responsibilities of the speaker. With this impressive book, Parks provides a valuable function in bridging that gap with her focus on the discourse responsibilities of the listener. As communicators, she stresses, we have the ethical responsibility to listen well. Situating the process of listening in collaborative dialogue, her study of listening across differences offers a strong case for how "listening matters." -- Andrew Wolvin, University of Maryland

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