Revamping Communication: How can we discuss politics to maximize learning and minimize animosity? - Shared screen with speaker view
Tricia Olsen
Thanks to all. I’m jumping on late (due to another meeting), but I would love to hear Michael’s (or other panelists) thoughts on agonism, which is often presented as an alternative to deliberative democracy (in part, because of its strong emphasis on consensus and, perhaps, lack of consideration for power dynamics that shape deliberative processes). Agonism, in contrast, doesn’t push for consensus but in a very abstract fashion suggests that those institutions that can absorb (non-violent) contestation can actually gain legitimacy. Others, though, suggest that deliberation and agonism are similar. Michael, how do you understand the difference of the two and the contribution, if any, agonism could make?
John Culp
The vitriol and divisiveness that has reached a pinnacle in recent times across our society (e.g., talking heads on TV, across the aisle posturing, and decency challenges) trickles down to our day-to-day lives, as you mentioned. It also feels, at times, that some groups do not want better communication, since divisiveness benefits their own agendas or power grab. How can we live day-to-day in a way that knocks down these pre-determined agendas? And for those who may not even be party to the damage it is doing, but are being used as the messenger, how do we stop the sociological damage without inadvertently worsening it by trying to be "right"?
Julia Minson
Julia Minson
Chris Celaya
One more prepared question and then we'll jump to audience questions
Gretchen Hefner (she/her)
I've been investigating that as well, Katie!
Gretchen Hefner (she/her)
The remaining 1/3.
Thank you for a thoughtful and engaging discussion. I have particularly enjoyed hearing about how various panelists approach communication in a classroom setting. My question is: What is the role of universities, on an institutional level, in fostering communication across political differences?
Terrific -- thank you again!