Date of Award
Theodore Vial, Ph.D.
Civil society, Collaboration, Complex Adaptive Systems, Dialogue, Facilitation, Habermas
The American creed of e pluribus unum--out of many, one--has proven to be an elusive aspiration for societies throughout history. Research suggests that as the diversity of a community increases, its stores of social capital decline. Yet, there exists a growing body of evidence that suggests under certain conditions, patterns of inclusion and collaboration are not only possible but predictable. This project explores theory on effective communication practices, grounded in Habermas's Theory of Communicative Action, as well as research on effective group interaction to suggest that certain communicative capacities and collaborative processes that successfully face the challenge of e pluribus unum at the level of groups and organizations might also apply to broader communities. After reviewing a series of case studies, a community learning model is offered as a way to promote those conditions more intentionally under a broader "civic canopy" as a way to help establish a new set of community norms--or a new civic operating system--that regards civil society as a type of associational ecosystem that can enable communities to better learn and adapt to the challenges they face.
Fulton, William K., "From the Sacred Canopy to the Civic Canopy: Social Transformation Through Dialogue, Collaboration, and Civil Society" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 218.
Received from ProQuest
William K. Fulton
Communication, Philosophy, Regional studies