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“The Argument Culture”

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“The Argument Culture” by Deborah Tannen provides insights into the question why there exist arguments whenever there is a discussion or dialogue. She proposes that there are a lot of aspects that generate this culture in which humans have been placed. A large amount of these factors include the war standpoint, descriptions as well as journalistic media. These generate a way of life in which words of war are used for communication between individuals. There exists no contented medium but only sides, more or less two, in which every individual endeavors to "prevail" in the scuffle in order to demonstrate how fake the other individual's thoughts actually are. Tannen enlists the modern-day examples to make clear how these war of words generate false impressions. She has provided various examples to serve in explicating her ideas on this subject.

Her principal thoughts with regard to this argument are entrenched in the media and other aspects of life. Whenever individuals argue about a point such as the essence of high-tech in the society, varying ideas ought to develop. In due course, varying ideas are brought forward that may not match the historical data and this spills over to a debate. The author utilizes this to explicate how individuals force their thoughts on other individuals. He proposes that freedom of speech and expression is everyone’s right. Therefore, each individual is entitled to his or her opinion regardless of whether it is factual or not. Both sides of an argument need to be heard no matter how foolish the argument could be. However, her general view that this technology separates us is not conclusive.

She takes on the impact of arguments on one’s character. She articulates the effects brought about by this act that include making an individual distort the information, wasting one’s time discussing unimportant issues, limiting one to think critically as well as encouraging an individual to embrace the character of lying. Her substantiation of these effects through examples such as Gallo’s case, international titles that are cooked in order to be attractive and the fact that one would alter facts in order to win an argument, reveal the bad side of arguments. However, an individual has the right to choose what to pursue with regard to an argument. In her case, she does not provide a good example of the guarantee of her allegations.

Tannen further employs life experiences in explicating the various impacts of arguments. She brings to light a scenario in which a family may possess various electrical gadgets such as televisions so as to avert arguments. As much as she brings these experiences to light, she does not back them with substantial evidence that reveals how Hi-Tech communications spread these notions. Her exploration of this topic is widespread. Her proposal that situations ought to be analyzed from all angles is very essential. Arguments should allow sharing of ideas as well as information and not to create warring factions for the sake of “winning” the argument. She suggests that individuals would rather consider “what are the other sides” instead of settling for “both sides”.

Her explanations on the effects of this culture of arguing in the society are comprehensible. She has managed to bring out the ways in which an argument can create varying viewpoints in cases that do not call for such. Tannen’s aptitude to explicate the reasons and the manner in which an “argument culture” is generated is apparent. Nonetheless, she has mostly concentrated on the negative effects brought about by this culture. In addition, her solution proposals are not very insightful as she has provided very minimal examples. She has left it to the community and the reader to decide their fate with regard to this issue.

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