Deliberative Discussion, Language, and Efficiency in the World Social Forum Process
Title: Deliberative Discussion, Language, and Efficiency in the World Social Forum Process
Author: DÖRR, Nicole
Publisher: San Diego State Univ
Citation: Mobilization, 2008, 13, 4, 395-410
The World Social Forum (WSF) and European Social Forum (ESF) processes represent a new platform for experimenting with multilingual practices of deliberative talk. Activists come together in meetings that take place at the regional level between these larger social forum events. The European Social Forum Preparatory Assemblies (EPA), for instance, allow activists in the ESF process to hold regular meetings in a multilingual format using simultaneous translation. I will explore how activists in such transnational meetings deal with the tension between time consuming, multilingual discussion processes and efficiency. Comparing meetings of European and South African groups within the umbrella of the ESF and WSF processes, I found the politics of language to be a very fragile aspect of the practice of deliberative discussion. However, some groups have developed innovative tactics or have made creative use of cognitive resources to tackle the challenge of linguistic exclusion.
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