Communication and Community: Implications of Martin Buber's Dialogue

Communication and Community: Implications of Martin Buber's Dialogue

Communication and Community: Implications of Martin Buber's Dialogue

Communication and Community: Implications of Martin Buber's Dialogue

Synopsis

Martin Buber's work suggests that real life begins with two individuals engaged in dialogue, not just taking care of one's own needs as described in social Darwinism.

Arnett argues that the end of the age of abundance demands that we give up the communicative strategies of the past and seek to work together in the midst of limited resources and an uncertain future. Today's situation calls for an unwavering commitment to Buber's "narrow ridge" concern for both self and community.

Arnett illustrates the narrow ridge definition of interpersonal communication with rich examples. His vignettes demonstrate effective and ineffective approaches to human community. An effective approach, he makes clear, incorporates not only openness to others' points of view but also a willingness to be persuaded.

Excerpt

THE implications of Martin Buber's philosophy of dialogue for the understanding of communication have been given much attention in recent years by scholars in the field of communication, including Ronald Arnett himself. What is not so well known or adequately understood is the indispensable context of that philosophy of dialogue--Buber's lifelong concern with community. Ronald Arnett's discussion of the implications of dialogic communication within the context of community is at the heart of Buber's life and work.

The Community Context of Buber's Dialogue

When he was twenty, Buber delivered a lecture to the Socialist Club of the University of Berlin on the thought of the nineteenth-century German socialist Ferdinard Lassalle, in whose life and work he had immersed himself. Shortly thereafter, Buber entered into an intense and lasting association with a leading communal socialist of early twentieth-century Germany, Gustav Landauer, a man whose life and death left a deep imprint on Buber's own life and thought. In 1905, Buber wrote an introduction to a collection of forty social- psychological monographs that he edited from 1906 to 1912 under the title Die Gesellschaft. In this introduction, Buber coined the . . .

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