Download Gifted Tongues: High School Debate and Adolescent Culture by Gary Alan Fine PDF

By Gary Alan Fine

Learning to argue and convince in a hugely aggressive atmosphere is just one element of lifestyles on a high-school debate crew. Teenage debaters additionally perform a special cultural world--complete with its personal jargon and standing system--in which they have to negotiate advanced relationships with teammates, rivals, coaches, and oldsters in addition to classmates outdoor the debating circuit. In Gifted Tongues, Gary Alan tremendous bargains a wealthy description of this international as a trying out flooring for either highbrow and emotional improvement, whereas looking to comprehend kids as social actors. contemplating the advantages and downsides of the debating event, he additionally recommends methods of reshaping courses in order that extra excessive faculties can use them to spice up educational functionality and foster particular talents in citizenship.

effective analyzes the educational of debaters in rapid-fire speech, principles of logical argumentation, and the strategic use of proof, and the way this education instills the middle values of such American associations as legislation and politics. Debates, in spite of the fact that, occasionally veer quick from advantageous screens of common sense to acts of immaturity--a mirrored image of the tensions skilled by way of youngsters studying to imagine as adults. advantageous contributes to our figuring out of youngster years by way of encouraging us to not view them as a unique level of improvement yet quite a time during which youngsters draw from a toolkit of either childlike and grownup behaviors. A well-designed debate application, he concludes, nurtures the mind whereas delivering a atmosphere during which kids learn how to make larger behavioral offerings, ones that would form relationships of their own, specialist, and civic lives.

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Extra resources for Gifted Tongues: High School Debate and Adolescent Culture

Sample text

If not, why bother? This may not always be true, but such an assertion (arguing for its own sake) undercuts the moral standing of the speaker. The allegation that a speaker is taking a position only because he or she “likes to argue,” “wants to be contrary,” or, significantly, “is just a debater” is a call to reject the legitimacy of the claim by rejecting the speaker’s motivation. In natural conversation, arguments should be something other than games utilized for personal satisfaction. ” Through our rhetorical strategies, we attempt to align audiences with our view of the world.

Judges won’t get it if you go so fast. College [student] judges sometimes think that it’s cool, but even they won’t understand most of what you are saying. . I’m very upset about this. We’ll still win debates if we don’t talk so fast. ” She adds, “If you can’t persuade people, it isn’t going to do us any good, it doesn’t do you any good, it isn’t going to do anyone any good” (field notes). While regional variations, personal preferences, and different orientations to what is called national circuit debate exist (see appendix), the struggle is between students, whose role models are fashionable college debaters, and their coaches, most of whom see themselves as teaching communication skills.

If rapid speech is status-enhancing for adolescents, many more traditional coaches feel that what they define as an excess emphasis on speed threatens the activity. One coach commented about a particularly rapid round: “I walked by a room and heard something that sounded like auctioneering” (field notes). 30 CHAPTER 1 Another coach from a small program told me that, during one round, he actually stopped one debater, telling him that he could not understand him: he was “speaking a mile a minute, and said, ‘therefore 96 equals 105’.

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