The Jury and Democracy: How Jury Deliberation Promotes Civic Engagement and Political Participation

Oxford University Press
Free sample

Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, and the U.S. Supreme Court have all alleged that jury service promotes civic and political engagement, yet none could prove it. Finally, The Jury and Democracy provides compelling systematic evidence to support this view. Drawing from in-depth interviews, thousands of juror surveys, and court and voting records from across the United States, the authors show that serving on a jury can trigger changes in how citizens view themselves, their peers, and their government--and can even significantly increase electoral turnout among infrequent voters. Jury service also sparks long-term shifts in media use, political action, and community involvement. In an era when involved Americans are searching for ways to inspire their fellow citizens, The Jury and Democracy offers a plausible and realistic path for turning passive spectators into active political participants.
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About the author

John Gastil is Professor of Communication and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. E. Pierre Deess is Director of Institutional Research and Planning at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Philip J. Weiser is Professor of Law at the University of Colorado. Cindy Simmons is an attorney who teaches Mass Media Law and Negotiation at the University of Washington.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Nov 10, 2010
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780199888535
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / American Government / Judicial Branch
Political Science / Civics & Citizenship
Political Science / History & Theory
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Democracy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"Professor Gastil has been a leading voice in the deliberative democracy movement for the last 15 years, and with this book he has created a wonderful resource that adeptly captures the broad, valuable work being done both inside and outside academia concerning public deliberation and political communication. I hope this book will help spark a whole new generation of courses focused on this critical topic." —Martín Carcasson, Colorado State University


The act of deliberation is the act of reflecting carefully on a matter and weighing the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to a problem. It aims to arrive at a decision or judgment based not only on facts and data but also on values, emotions, and other less technical considerations. Though a solitary individual can deliberate, it more commonly means making decisions together, as a small group, an organization, or a nation. Political Communication and Deliberation takes a unique approach to the field of political communication by viewing key concepts and research through the lens of deliberative democratic theory. This is the first text to argue that communication is central to democratic self-governance primarily because of its potential to facilitate public deliberation. Thus, it offers political communication instructors a new perspective on familiar topics, and it provides those teaching courses on political deliberation with their first central textbook. This text offers students practical theory and experience, teaching them skills and giving them a more direct understanding of the various subtopics in public communication.

Companion Web site!
A dedicated Web site at http://ideliberate.la.psu.edu/ inventories everything that might be useful for instructors using Political Communication and Deliberation in their courses. Syllabi suggestions show how to use the book when teaching on a semester - or a quarter-long course, as well as a set of classroom exercises and larger projects that have been used in previous courses. Also, a wiki and forum let instructors exchange teaching ideas, links, and new content to supplement each chapter.
The Group in Society meets the challenges of teaching courses on small groups by revealing the full complexity of small groups and their place in society. It shows students the value of learning how to carefully study a group's history and context, rather than merely learning a fixed set of group participation skills. This text brings together disparate theories and research (from communication, social psychology, organizational and managerial studies, and sociology) in a way that helps students make sense of a complex body of scholarship on groups.

Features & Benefits
Part I – Theorizing Groups: builds a strong theoretical foundation, exploring social theory and the group, forming and joining groups, the life and death of the group, and changing society through group life Part II – Understanding Groups in Context: explores the histories, purposes, memberships of a variety of groups—including juries, families, executive committees, study groups, and political action groups—thus enabling the student reader to speak clearly about group formation, norms, roles, tasks, and relationships. Detailed end-of-chapter case studies explicitly connect with the concepts, theories, and empirical findings introduced in each respective chapter; examples include the powerful group bonds of the modern terrorist cell; the wired network of groups in the anti-Globalization movement; and the deliberation of a jury in a murder trial

Teaching & Learning Ancillaries

Teaching resources are available at http://groupinsociety.la.psu.edu/ and include chapter summaries, discussion questions, and practical applications; a sample course schedule; Embedded Systems Framework PowerPoint slides; group project assignments, group project worksheets, and a group project description and contract; and links to useful Web resources such as small group teaching resources and active wikis on small groups. An open-access student study site at www.sagepub.com/gastilstudy features e-flashcards, practice quizzes, and other resources to help students enhance their comprehension and improve their grade.
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