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Polarity: agreement-disagreement


Distinguishing Emergent Conceptual Polarities: experimental ordering of a collection of research papers (Part #3)


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Agreement (harmony, consensus) -- Disagreement (discord, difference, dissent, dilemmas, polarization)

Disagreement: Corresponding to the focus on diversity (above), has been a concern with the strong identifications in society with elements of that variety, resulting in radical disagreement in any form of dialogue or collective action. The challenge of working with the reality of that disagreement, rather than aspiring towards agreement, has been the focus of dialogue-related papers (1981, 1992, 1998, 2001).

A particular interest has been patterning of disagreement (1986) and dilemmas (Configuring Strategic Dilemmas in Intersectoral Dialogue, 1992; Inter-personal Dilemmas of Participation in a Sustainable Inter-sectoral Meeting, 1994) and their mapping (1992).
Agreement: Corresponding to the focus on unity (above), has been a concern with richer and subtler ways of articulating agreement and consensus (1991, 1995), notably faced with tendencies towards polarized thinking.

A particular interest is the dynamics (see below) of the relation of agreement to the alternation between opposing perspectives, notably through cycles (Cycles of dissonance and resonance, 1995). Also of interest has been the possible emergence of higher orders of meaning and consensus (Sustaining Higher Orders of Policy Consensus through Metaphor: towards a new language of governance, 1992)