follow CCP

Recent blog entries
popular papers

What Is the "Science of Science Communication"?

Climate-Science Communication and the Measurement Problem

Ideology, Motivated Cognition, and Cognitive Reflection: An Experimental Study

'Ideology' or 'Situation Sense'? An Experimental Investigation of Motivated Reasoning and Professional Judgment

A Risky Science Communication Environment for Vaccines

Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government

Ideology, Motivated Cognition, and Cognitive Reflection: An Experimental Study

Making Climate Science Communication Evidence-based—All the Way Down 

Neutral Principles, Motivated Cognition, and Some Problems for Constitutional Law 

Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus

The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Science Literacy and Climate Change

"They Saw a Protest": Cognitive Illiberalism and the Speech-Conduct Distinction 

Geoengineering and the Science Communication Environment: a Cross-Cultural Experiment

Fixing the Communications Failure

Why We Are Poles Apart on Climate Change

The Cognitively Illiberal State 

Who Fears the HPV Vaccine, Who Doesn't, and Why? An Experimental Study

Cultural Cognition of the Risks and Benefits of Nanotechnology

Whose Eyes Are You Going to Believe? An Empirical Examination of Scott v. Harris

Cultural Cognition and Public Policy

Culture, Cognition, and Consent: Who Perceives What, and Why, in "Acquaintance Rape" Cases

Culture and Identity-Protective Cognition: Explaining the White Male Effect

Fear of Democracy: A Cultural Evaluation of Sunstein on Risk

Cultural Cognition as a Conception of the Cultural Theory of Risk

« More religion & CRT--where's ideology & CRT?! | Main | Ethical guidelines for science communication informed by cultural cognition research »

Deliberations & identity formation

CCP member John Gasitil, along w/ co-authors, has a new article out presenting evidence that highly participatory forms of democratic deliberation promote a distinctive shared identity that transcends more particular and potentially divisive ones, such as those founded on cultural affiliations.

The analysis was largely qualitative: a case study based on impressionistic analyses of transcripts from citizen deliberations associated with the Australian Citizens' Parliament. I know JG has more data on the Australian Citizens' Parliament, including some that admit of more systematic analysis, in hand. Good way to do research since the convergence of results from more interpretive forms of empirical analysis and more quantitative -- if they do indeed converge! -- make the conclusions of both more worthy of being credited.

I know from experience that collective deliberations on baseball are not sufficient to enable Gastil to transcend his partisan cultural identity as a Tigers fan.

Felicetti, A., Gastil, J., Hartz-Karp, & Carson, L. Collective Identity and Voice at the Australian Citizens' Parliament. Journal of Public Deliberation 8, article 5 (2012):

This paper examines the role of collective identity and collective voice in political life. We argue that persons have an underlying predisposition to use collective dimensions, such as common identities and a public voice, in thinking and expressing themselves politically. This collective orientation, however, can be either fostered or weakened by citizens’ political experiences. Although the collective level is an important dimension in contemporary politics, conventional democratic practices do not foster it. Deliberative democracy is suggested as an environment that might allow more ground for citizens to express themselves not only in individual but also in collective terms. We examine this theoretical perspective through a case study of the Australian Citizens’ Parliament, in which transcripts are analyzed to determine the extent to which collective identities and common voice surfaced in actual discourse. We analyze the dynamics involved in the advent of collective dimensions in the deliberative process and highlight the factors—deliberation, nature of the discussion, and exceptional opportunity—that potentially facilitated the rise of group identities and common voice. In spite of the strong individualistic character of the Australian cultural identity, we nonetheless found evidence of both collective identity and voice at the Citizens’ Parliament, expressed in terms of national, state, and community levels. In the conclusion, we discuss the implications of those findings for future research and practice of public deliberation.


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (3)

So why doesn't this work with the US Congress? (No snark intended - serious question.)

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Fleck

I will need to check with John on that & get back to you. (Maybe he can be induced to answer.)

April 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

The difference between Congress and the Australian Citizens’ Parliament (and similar structured events) is that the ACP aims to bring together a diverse public to deliberate and clarify key points of disagreement while discovering common ground. It is in that setting that one finds the discovery of common purpose and identity and the willingness to engage diverse ideas and relevant evidence.
By contrast, Congress has become a site used principally to produce and disseminate partisan messaging for the purpose of strengthening a party’s electoral advantage and securing one’s own reelection. There have been deliberative moments, historically, in that body, as capably argued by Joseph Bessette in The Mild Voice of Reason. But in the present day, I believe they are the exception. I offer my most cynical take in my 2008 book, Political Communication and Deliberation:

“Though there are periods of spirited debate now and again, anyone entering a state legislature should take a seat in the viewing gallery expecting to see a session of “legislative karaoke.” Like its more musical namesake, legislative karaoke consists of one speaker after another giving an amateur performance of a pre-written script, occasionally glancing up from their notes in an effort to make brief eye contact. The speaker and the listener both know the script, and the reading is merely a performance. While one speaker “sings” her talking points, the other legislators can be as rude as even the seediest bar crowd, noisily unwrapping and eating food on their desks, reading mail, talking to one another, and even answering phone calls. Meanwhile, the person next in the queue goes over his notes and gets ready to take the microphone when signaled to do so by the D.J., a.k.a. the presiding officer of the chamber.”

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Gastil

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>