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POL 3313 Political Communication Study Guide.docx

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University of Ottawa
Political Science

Political Communication Study Guide Concepts and Key Issues Several definitions can be assigned to the concept of political communicationPublic discussion about the allocation of public resources revenues official authority who is given the power to make legal legislative and executive decision and official sanctions what the states rewards or punished Denton and Woodward 1990Political communication refers not only to verbal or written statements but also to visual means of significations such as dress makeup hairstyle and logo design ei All those elements of communication which might be said to constitute a political image or identity Graber1994political communication is the space where discourses are exchanged between the three actors who have the legitimacy to speak publicly about politics politicians journalists and public opinion through surveys Wolton 1989 Habermas and the Public Sphere He noted that the public to be successful had to exhibit several essential characteristics Members of the public had to be of roughly equal status they had to be educated and informed they had to debate and decide issues without interference or influence from either the state government or from the estates powerful moneyed interests that negotiated directly with the state and exhibited their agreements to the public for its acquiescenceHe suggested that mass societies in the 20th century showed wide disparity in status among its citizens and serious questions about educational levels and access to information He further suggested that disparities in wealth had created disparate access to the forms of communication that were assumed to shape debateThis required that the discussion be conducted independent of influence by state interests independent of the interests of the estates moneyed interests and even without undue emphasis upon parochial private interestsA selfregulating media system must maintain its independence visvis its environments while linking political communication in the public sphere with both civil society and the political center and second an inclusive civil society must empower citizens to participate in and respond to a public discourse which in turn must not degenerate into a colonizing mode of communication Habermas 2006 p 420Lipman Public is too dumb and uninformed to create a mandate for political parties parties must create a mandate and then convince the public on it not vice versa Dewey on the Power of the Debate If we included the public in discussions on issues and policy then they would be able to form opinions and contribute to solutions Acknowledged the criticism that the public might be too wide spread to come to any type of meaningful consensus on issues Accepted lippmans premise but argued that public debate and social gatherings could increase a public mandate significantly Dewey on definition of the public a public is a group of people who1 Face a similar problem 2 Recognize that the problem exists3 Organize to do something about the problemHegels four desires at the core of human consciousness 1 The desire to sense Being the world around us 2 the desire to change Being to shape the world 3 the desire to have the Other yield freedom to the individuals choice for change and 4 the desire to have the Other recognize the individuals freedom to change as universalHegel 1977 suggests that human beings fight one another not simply for change but more importantly for recognition of their freedom to change or project their particular values upon Being and upon each other within the universal of the state He suggests that history is the record of this conflict over the idea or project the particular free acts of individuals or groups that within the State or the willed idea of the common goodThe Silent Majority Spiral Of Silence the fear of expressing perceived minority point of view NoelleNeumann 1974 In a wide range of settings people contribute less than the optimal amount of public goods and consume more than their fair share Ledyard 1995Even in active successful communities it is a small core of participants that generate the most content Preece 2000 Public deliberation and participation is often impeded by dysfuntionctional socialpsychological processes Ho and McLeod 2008
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