The session on Living Room Conversation is extremely interesting. I really believe the importance to having conservations with people who hold different political beliefs and this is the only way  to override differences.

This Living Room Conversation model similarly presented many difficult problems that have no easy solutions.  For example, to have an effective conversation, it requires participants and hosts to have had honest and thoughtful reflections on the topics, especially when many of these topics are tough ones. This became clear even during our group practices. During our session, we discussed privilege and status. In my group, our discussion went quite smooth and our discussion reached a common ground despite our varying background because we all have spent some time reflecting on the privilege. Thus, during the session we can reflectively and critically engage with the guiding questions.  I can imagine this end up being superficial chat if none of us has had some personal thoughts on this.

It also requires participants to have had previous experience engaging in similar conversations. In our case, many of us are U.S. college students and having this type of discussions  is actually quite common in our classroom. As I was thinking about hosting similar platform in China, it will involve a lot work, such as familiarize people with the rules and norms.

It was interesting to me that the first thought came to my mind when hearing about Living Room Conversation is that it helps to bridge different political belief across the spectrum. However, in some case,  age or regional differences are actually more dominant. For example, when discussing climate change, people from the coast and the Midwest might have very different views. While this maybe driven by their political beliefs, one’s regional background undeniably play a huge role in shaping one’s opinions.  I definitely think this is a good step to begin conversations, although there are so many more steps to follow. How to engage people who are unwilling to hear and learn from the other side remains a huge challenge.