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As a form of social justice education, intergroup dialogue (IGD) was originally developed in the 1980s at the University of Michigan as a critical-dialogical method and has since been implemented at many universities around the United States in curricular and co-curricular programs. IGD can function as a way of bringing students from different social identity groups together in sustained, facilitated learning experiences in order to advance social justice, equity, and peace. IGD combines the cognitive work of critically examining the intersections of social identity and power relations with the affective work of individual reflection and group interaction in specifically designated dialogue spaces.

Although true IGD implementation requires sustained participation in a four-stage, facilitated learning process over many weeks, the underlying theories, processes, and practices can inform work that academic libraries do to promote positive social change. By combining IGD principles with broader forms of dialogue, academic libraries can provide the people and the places needed to support civil discourse in a time of deep political polarization. This chapter will examine specific IGD concepts, and through two case studies, illustrate how these concepts can be integrated into academic library work.



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Libraries Promoting Reflective Dialogue in a Time of Political Polarization


Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Publishing


conflict resolution, dialogue, diversity, equity, inclusion, intergroup dialogue, equity in libraries, professional development


Library and Information Science


Chapter is made available for download in compliance with the publisher's policy on self-archiving. Permission documentation is on file.

Creating Meaningful Engagement in Academic Libraries Using Principles of Intergroup Dialogue