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Deliberative Communication Goes to College: The "Deliberation Forum" Project as a Democratic Agent of Empowerment for Communication Students ARTICLE

Learning, Media and Technology Volume 41, Number 4, ISSN 1743-9884

Abstract

A new field of research has developed over the last few decades, called "Deliberative Communication". It focuses on the potential contribution of public deliberations to strengthening the foundations of democracy and the promotion of social-political goals and objectives. The current research focuses on a unique case study, the "Deliberation Forum" project, conducted by the Department of Communication at the Yezreel Valley College, Israel. The researcher sought to learn about students' experience of participating in this online forum and the effects they attributed to it, through unstructured interviews she held with them. The students indicated that, for the most part, the experience of participating in the deliberation forum was very positive: it enhanced their self-image as thinking people; strengthened their sense of self-importance as students within the department; developed and reinforced habits of keeping abreast of current affairs as well as critical thinking; and finally, the experience developed and strengthened habits of active participation in pluralistic debates. The study findings indicate that participation in projects of this kind has a clear empowerment potential, while also improving participants' attitude toward public deliberation and decision-making processes.

Citation

Malka, V. (2016). Deliberative Communication Goes to College: The "Deliberation Forum" Project as a Democratic Agent of Empowerment for Communication Students. Learning, Media and Technology, 41(4), 546-565. Retrieved December 13, 2017 from .

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