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Political Communication and Deliberation John Gastil
Transcript of Political Communication and Deliberation John Gastil
To the extent that a system counts people as adult members but excludes them from its decision-making process, the system cannot call itself democratic.
Participation Opportunities Once you are recognized as a member of a democracy, you must then have equal and adequate opportunities to participate in 3 related ways: Enlightened Understanding All members of a democracy must have the chance to figure out which issues concern them, what they think about those issues, and how they should vote when given the chance to do so. What does Democracy Require? Political Communication and Deliberation John Gastil Chapter 1 Democracy and Deliberation What Does Democracy Mean? What do you think it means?
self rule, rule by all, Aristotle p. 5
Robert Dahl, Political Scientist no nation is a pure democracy
criteria to measure: inclusion, participation, enlightened understanding Who is currently excluded? 1) putting issues on the agenda
2) expressing your views on those issues
3) voting on those issues, directly or indirectly This depends on whether you belong to a representative or a direct democracy What is the difference?
Whether elected or not, democracy requires that all citizens have an equal chance to raise issues for discussion--either by fellow citizens or by their representatives. An inclusive system that gives everyone the opportunity to speak but does not grant the time (or tools) to think will be a dismal one indeed, full of empty speeches and reckless voting. Why should citizens have to be informed when we have elected representatives?
Isn't that what they are for? Deliberation is the standard by which one can judge the wider array of political communication practices. The more often a system deliberates, the more readily it can mee the 3 criteria for the democratic process What Deliberation Means Deliberation Across Different Settings and Levels of Analysis How Deliberation Makes Democracy Work When people deliberate, they carefully examine a problem and arrive at a well-reasoned solution after a period of inclusive, respectful consideration of diverse points of view Other factors needed:
simplification/comprehension, careful listening, respect
figure 1.1 p. 10 Deliberation begins when we create a solid information base to make sure we understand the nature of the problem at hand Second, we identify and prioritize the key values at stake in an issue Third, we identify a broad range of solutions that might address the problem, including everything from enacting a system of voluntary self-regulation by polluters to prohibiting the emission of certain industrial pollutants to exhorting the public to change its consumption habits. 2 4 5 ex: pollution
p. 9 Fourth, we weigh the pros , cons, and trade-offs of the solutions by systematically applying our knowledge and values to each alternative. A group will have deliberated in this respect if it faces the trade-offs among different alternatives, recognizes that no solution is perfect, and tries to grapple with conflicting values and information.
If it takes place withing a decision-making body, deliberation ends with the group making the best decision possible, in light of what has been learned through discussion; otherwise, the deliberation may end with each individual participant arriving at an independent judgment on the matter. smallest social unit of analysis:
dyad then, group i.e., jury
then media What challenges do different levels of abstraction pose for analysis? The Challenge of studying communication across these different political settings and levels is keeping a steady frame of reference. What the deliberative perspective offers is both a broad conceptual framework... ...and a philosophical point of view 1) Each of the facets of the deliberative process, such as the development of an information base to aid decision making, is a key concept that organizes a considerable amount of research in the field 2) Each facet of deliberation also identifies a key ethical principle in communication research, such as the idea that different persons, with their own points of view, should have equal voice. Conclusion
Core Questions to consider
Are we deliberating?
If not--how can we make the process more deliberative?