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Discourse in different voices: reconciling N = 1 and N = many

Abstract (from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&... ids=12365522&dopt=Abstract): "When groups are convened to discuss the making of policy, people are chosen to represent particular interests because they have relevant experience. Different stakeholders, however, may use differing discourses, and particular discourses may be privileged in particular contexts. This means that important contributions to the discussion may not be reflected in final reports. Discursive incommensurability is particularly seen when individual, personal experience is presented in meetings where quantification or "numbers talk" is privileged. While pooled personal experience may carry some weight in such a context, individual anecdote does not. The inclusion of 'consumers' in policy making groups may result in their dysempowerment. Their presence promises that they will have influence, but their voices disappear from the final document. The promise of empowerment is not realised. Dysempowerment may translate into empowerment with time, as it has done with feminism and the HIV/AIDS lobby. In order to speed the process, we suggest some practical means whereby mixed discourses may be generated and monitored. For constructive interchange, each party to the discourse needs to express the interests and arguments relevant to the group he or she represents. Supporting this principle of representation are principles of implicature and radical respect. Implicature is the act of implying what is relevant to others involved in the discourse. Radical respect is a fundamental and foundational respect for others in their roles as representatives of stakeholders with legitimate interests in the topic of the discourse."