Gifted Tongues by Gary Alan Fine
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Gifted Tongues
By Gary Alan Fine

Gifted Tongues

High School Debate and Adolescent Culture

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Format: Paperback

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Gifted Tongues by Gary Alan Fine

Book Description

Learning to argue and persuade in a highly competitive environment is only one aspect of life on a high-school debate team. Teenage debaters also participate in a distinct cultural world--complete with its own jargon and status system--in which they must negotiate complicated relationships with teammates, competitors, coaches, and parents as well as classmates outside the debating circuit. In Gifted Tongues, Gary Alan Fine offers a rich description of this world as a testing ground for both intellectual and emotional development, while seeking to understand adolescents as social actors. Considering the benefits and drawbacks of the debating experience, he also recommends ways of reshaping programs so that more high schools can use them to boost academic performance and foster specific skills in citizenship. Fine analyzes the training of debaters in rapid-fire speech, rules of logical argumentation, and the strategic use of evidence, and how this training instills the core values of such American institutions as law and politics. Debates, however, sometimes veer quickly from fine displays of logic to acts of immaturity--a reflection of the tensions experienced by young people learning to think as adults. Fine contributes to our understanding of teenage years by encouraging us not to view them as a distinct stage of development but rather a time in which young people draw from a toolkit of both childlike and adult behaviors. A well-designed debate program, he concludes, nurtures the intellect while providing a setting in which teens learn to make better behavioral choices, ones that will shape relationships in their personal, professional, and civic lives.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691074504
ISBN-10: 069107450X
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Pages: 328
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 16-Apr-2001
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

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In The Global Grapevine, two leading authorities on rumor, folklore, and urban legend shed light on what contemporary rumors can tell us about the fears and pressures of globalization. This book offers an invaluable portrait of what these tales reveal about contemporary society.

Authors of the Storm by Gary Alan Fine Authors of the Storm, Paperback (July 2010)

Offers an inside look at how meteorologists and forecasters predict the weather. Through field observation and interviews, this work shows that weather forecasts are often shaped as much by social and cultural factors inside local offices as they are by approaching cumulus clouds.

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Author Biography - Gary Alan Fine

Gary Alan Fine is Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University. He is the author of Morel Tales: The Culture of Mushrooming, Kitchens: The Culture of Restaurant Work, and With the Boys: Little League Baseball and Preadolescent Culture.

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