MLD-356M: Public Narrative: Conflict, Continuity, Change

Semester: Not Offered

Credit: 0.5

Faculty: Marshall Ganz


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This module builds on its prerequisite MLD-355M, "Public Narrative: Self, Us, Now." In this module we go deeper: what if there's more than one story in play, more than one story teller, and stories that conflict? Confronted with the same challenge, different leaders may respond with different narratives, calling on different "us's," each of which linked to a different form of action. Most of us have experienced competing narratives in our families, communities, faith tradition, schools, workplaces, organizations, and nations.Can we "clear up the confusion" by "getting the facts?" Is one story "wrong" and the other "right?" Or are competing narratives rooted in competing values, different life experience, diverse stories of self and us? Can we learn how to manage this challenge-without suppressing it? Students learn to draw on their narrative resources to respond to four critical leadership challenges: domination, difference, loss, and change. We can respond to domination with resistance or of compliance; to difference with inclusion or exclusion; to loss with redemption or contamination; to change with rejection, conservation, reform or revolution. The question is how we can respond-and enable others to respond with "agency" - our capacity to act mindfully - by accessing hope over fear, empathy over alienation, and self-worth over self-doubt. Prerequisite:MLD-355M.

Also offered by the Graduate School of Education as A-111Q, but not offered in 2014-15.


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