Interlocution with Udit Thakre, Psychology student at Sheffield Hallam University, September 2019
To begin, we discuss defining dialogue and Udit gives the following: the function of dialogue is to help the other person understand. It is giving something to another person and an extension of who you are. Udit is interested in the lack of dialogue, oppression and the complexities of gendered pscyhodynamics. He is preparing for a PhD studying politeness in British society. He mentions the Occupy movements and suggests an occupy and reclamation of dialogue. This leads us on to discuss who owns dialogue? Is it culture? Institutions? He is interested in the culture of silence as passive and active aggression and the dark side of politeness (being central to British culture). He cites Dr Brené Brown whose work looks at shame and vulnerability. She talks about clear dialogue being kind whilst unclear dialogue is not kind. Udit also recommends a book The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje depicting betrayals in times of war as opposed to times of peace. He notes that the English ‘stiff upper lip’ element of British politeness and lack of dialogue is a consequence of the war. We discuss lying and inequality in dialogue and the oppressor and the oppressed. Finally, and more generally, we discuss practising dialogue like training muscle or a skill like swimming which is learnt and must be practised to be proficient. But it’s also important to make mistakes in dialogue, Udit says, as this is how we learn.