Building bridges after a riot: Talking toward mutual understanding following Charlottesville

Linda Doornbosch*, Mark van Vuuren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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This chapter explores opportunities for conversation that seek to foster mutual understanding in polarized situations. To reach this common ground, we traced how bridging occurred interactively after the riots in Charlottesville (Virginia, USA) between individuals and groups with different backgrounds and identities. We examined two of a series of dialogues that were held by the Listen First Project in Charlottesville. This project featured participants working together to move toward healing and reconciliation on the divisive topic of race. Drawing lessons from the particular situation in Charlottesville, this chapter illustrates how building bridges through talk contributes to develop trust and relationships across divides (bridging social capital) and thereby fosters social cohesion and inclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiscourse and Conflict
Subtitle of host publicationAnalysing Text and Talk of Conflict, Hate and Peace-building
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9783030764852
ISBN (Print)9783030764845
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2021


  • Bridging social capital
  • Conflict
  • Dialogue
  • Discourse analysis
  • Interactional framing strategies
  • Polarization
  • 2024 OA procedure


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