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The Argument Culture Essay

948 words - 4 pages

Let’s Look At All Sides

Deborah Tannens, “The Argument Culture,” is an essay in which she voices her concern that our culture “urges us to approach the world, and the people in it, in an adversarial frame of mind” (404). This conveys that there is always a point to be argued and that most people voice their opinion in opposition. This not only causes problems in social circles, but on a worldwide scale as well. She explains that everything is set up as debate where it seems there has to be a winner and a loser. However, this is not always the case because opinions are neither right, nor wrong. That is why they are a personal opinion that a person feels.

Tannen is concerned that the ...view middle of the document...

While none of us want to have conflict with our loved ones, the truth of the matter is, it happens, and we can’t avoid conflict in our public interactions either. Tannen suggests that we, as a society, find constructive ways of resolving disputes and differences (404). This could mean just taking a look at the other side to see where they are coming from, and maybe this means convincing the other side to another opinion. What good is arguing our views of any subject if no resolve can be found? Our culture needs to do a better job of observing all sides of an issue and taking all sides of an argument into consideration.

“In the argument culture, “critical” thinking is synonymous with criticizing,” says Tannen (405). I agree with this statement but don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing like she is implying. Critical thinking entails self-improvement and analysis of a problem or topic. Critical thinking means you are observing different aspects of a situation and coming to an educated conclusion that is your opinion. Some people will have different conclusions that they come to and this is where arguing comes into play.

“The argument culture has a defining impact on our lives and on our culture” (Tannen 406). Tannen says it makes us distort facts, waste valuable time, limits our thinking, and encourages us to lie. Distorting facts is one way people can try to make another person change their point of view. This can mean lying about things to make one side seem better or more right than the other, or it can mean just stretching the truth in a small way. Each is equally dangerous because if you...

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