Call for extended abstracts: Difficult Conversations Concerning Identity and Difference, Special issue of Human Communication Research. Deadline: November 7, 2021.
Guest Editors: Srividya Ramasubramanian, Syracuse University and Jordan Soliz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
From community dialogues about polarizing social issues to managing different ideologies and identities in families to critical conversations about different lived experiences (e.g., differences in experiences of bias and discrimination, experiences with chronic illness and disability), our daily lives are often infused with conversations that can be characterized as difficult, contentious, uncomfortable, or anxiety-inducing often requiring courageous, bold, and vulnerable engagement by individuals, organizations, and communities.
Further, popular conceptions of what constitutes “appropriate” conversations can often silence dissent, suppress voices of marginalized communities, or ignore experiences of individuals. These difficult conversations and dialogue are often necessary to achieve social justice goals, to build inclusive community or relational solidarity, to enhance individual well-being, to critically engage social issues and truth-telling, or to serve as the foundation for community-led initiatives to enact social change. As such, we benefit from additional inquiries, theorizing, and critical examination on what contributes to effective and empowering conversations in these contexts as well as the personal, social, institutional, and cultural factors that influence engagement in and outcomes of these interactions.