Link to What's New This Week The Tipping Proportion in Dominant Discourse

Dear Habermas Logo and Link to Site Index A Justice Site

Shared Reading: Tipping Proportion

Mirror Sites:
CSUDH - Habermas - UWP - Archives

NYT Illustration by Saymour Chwast. © 2004 The New York Times Company
Illustration by by Saymour Chwast

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: Junly 25, 2004
Latest Update: July 25, 2004

E-Mail Icon

Index of Topics on Site The Tipping Proportion in Dominant Discourse

  1. Introduction Why I chose to share this reading.
  2. Focus: Main point of this reading.
  3. Reading Full identification of source for reading AND excerpt.
  4. Concepts: Concepts and Key Words.
  5. Discussion Discussion questions.
  6. Conceptual Linking to Substantive Courses What this has to do with our class.

* * *


  • I wanted to share this reading with you as an example of how dominant discourse is incredibly susceptible to peer expectations, and because of that can easily shift in a breif time period. It is the hope of each political party to be able to creat such a paradigm shift in voters, in favor of their own party. This New York Times article for July 25, 2004, used a cartoon like drawing to get the idea across in seconds to readers whose education has familiarized them with dominant discourse and attitude and persuasion theory.


  • I would like you to come away from this reading with a solid sense of how tipping proportion works in dominant discourse, so that you will understand the power of persuasion that often remains hidden.

Concepts and Key Words:

  • Tipping proportion -
  • dominant discourse -
  • conformity in face of peer pressure - Jones and Gerard


Discussion Questions:

  1. How?

    Things to be considered in answer.

  2. Why?

    Things to be considered in answer.

  3. Do you think?

Conceptual Linking to Substantive Courses:

  • Agencies:
    Sample linking: Ways in which underlying assumptions of assimilation affect services offered and clients' ability to access and use those services. How does this reading illustrate the need for social agencies, for more generalized agencies, for what Bolman and Deal would call "leadership" AND "management"? How does this reading suggest ways in which we could be more effective in rendering help, and what is the reading's relationship to a "safety net" for those who need help?

  • Criminal Justice:
    Sample linking: Ways in which some groups are underrepresented in the unstated assumptions of our theories. How does this reading serve to illustrate adversarialism, mutuality, retribution, revenge, illocutionary understanding, the definition and operation of the criminal justice system?

  • Law:
    Sample linking: Extent to which laws are made on the assumption that we are all essentially assimilated to the dominant culture. How does this reading help us see the need for contextual readings in law? How does it relate to our natural instincts to seek some kind of natural law? What facts and principles does the reading offer for discourse that could clarify for Others validity claims presented by an Obscure Other?

  • Moot Court:
    Sample linking: Ways in which to make validty claims of harm understood by those who have never experienced many of the world's different perspectives. How can this reading enlighten our praxis in terms of different kinds of discourse, like instrumental, illocutionary, governance?

  • Women in Poverty:
    Sample linking: The culture of poverty and assimilation. How does the reading deal with our underlying assumptions about poverty, especially poverty of the exploited, the NOT- male? What does the reading suggest of the interrelationship between our society and its children, generally cared for by women, often poor?

  • Race, Gender, Class:
    Sample linking: The extent to which silence has been imposed by these affiliations so that domination and discrimination have entered our unstated assumptions in interpersonal relations and the structural context arising from them. What does the reading tell us about exploitation and alternative ways to deal with one another? What does it tell us about institutionalized -isms and our denial of complicity? What does it tell us about our common humanity?

  • Religion:
    Sample linking: The spiritual component. Humans are spiritual creatures, creatures that recognize moments that go beyond ourselves to God, Allah, Isis, Gaia, the Universe, or a deep sense of responsibility to create our own meanng. How does the reading fit into our ability, our need to create such meaning in life?

  • Love !A:
    Sample linking: What's the aesthetic link in this reading? How does it bring us closer to one another as humans? What does it tell us about our need for love, unconditional love, not rewards for doing well or being well, but caring and acceptance for being who we are?

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, June 2004.
"Fair use" encouraged.