chapter  12
Useful Strategies in the War of Words
Pages 17

In the pages that preceded this final chapter, the authorsÊ expressed views were clear, strongly argued, and persuasive, so I feel no need to attempt to summarize each of their important and enlightening insights; rather, I try to show how the work of the symposium has affected my own thinking on an issue that has occupied part of my research agenda for more than a decade, the question of how members of minority groups can move the majority, although they may have little capacity even to make the majority listen, much less comply with their requests and demands. In this sense, this chapter probably anticipates the approaches of many readers, who undoubtedly will appreciate the wisdom of the observations presented and who are concerned with transposing these insights to their own particular arena of concern. In my case, the work presented here is reframed in terms of its relevance to the ways minority groups represent issues that are of central relevance to their vested interests, and with the words its members use to foster the portrayal of their positions. Lacking brute force, the minority must rely on the power of persuasion to make its way to the docket. Moving the multitude to its position is the next, but far from the most important step. How the minority makes its voice heard requires some preliminary exposition, but as will become clear, the preceding chapters have provided important insights, a veritable instruction booklet for how the minority group may mobilize the power of persuasive argument to maximize its chances of succeeding in moving more powerful groups, even though it lacks the coercive power to enforce its will.