Title

A Dialectic Analysis of a Community Forum on Faith: The "Most Segregated" or Separated Hour?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2014

Department

Communication Studies

Abstract

Homogeneity remains the norm in churches despite the ideal of diversity called for by leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. This incongruity prompted an analysis of a community forum convened to address racial tensions growing from a school board conflict in Little Rock, Arkansas. The phrase, “the most segregated hour in America is 11:00 A.M. on Sunday,” surfaces multiple times in relation to the homogeneity–diversity dialectic. This tension-centered analysis revealed varied functions of irony as forum participants responded to this dialectic. Major findings included (1) countering the assumption that segregation is wrong through alternation; (2) framing through transcendence based in dramatic irony; (3) relying on a personal narrative based on selection; (4) contesting the role of significant choice based in event-based irony; and (5) representing the marginalized discourse of diversity as mystery. We extend tension-centered research and theory by explicating the role of irony in opening spaces within contested discourse. Practitioners can utilize openings created by irony through enriched dialogue about identity and transcendent rituals.

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Communication Research

Volume

42

Issue

4

First Page

477

Last Page

496

Find in your library

Share

 
COinS