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Context and Medium Matter: Expressing Disagreements Online and Face-to-Face in Political Deliberations

The 22-page case study, Context and Medium Matter: Expressing Disagreements Online and Face-to-Face in Political Deliberations (2015) by Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Lauren Bryant and Bruce Bimber was published in the Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 11: Iss. 1. This case study examines how participants’ behavior differs depending on the medium, when expressing disagreements about political topics.

From the Abstract

Processes of disagreement are important to public deliberation, but research has not examined the dynamics of disagreement in deliberation of political topics with respect to effects of the channel of interaction. This study analyzes the discussions generated via an experiment in which discussants were randomly assigned either to deliberate online via synchronous chat or face-to-face. The study compares the initiation of disagreement, its qualities, and how long it is sustained in the two environments. Discourse analysis suggests that in the online environment initial expressions of disagreement were less frequent, less bold, and were not sustained as compared with the face-to-face discussions. Reasons include the lack of coherence in synchronous chat, which may challenge interlocutors and prevent them from pursuing a disagreement over multiple turns. Implications of these findings for scholars and practitioners are discussed.

Download the case study from the Journal of Public Deliberation here.

About the Journal of Public Deliberation
Journal of Public DeliberationSpearheaded by the Deliberative Democracy Consortium in collaboration with the International Association of Public Participation, the principal objective of Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) is to synthesize the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the emerging multi-disciplinary field and political movement called by some “deliberative democracy.” By doing this, we hope to help improve future research endeavors in this field and aid in the transformation of modern representative democracy into a more citizen friendly form.

Follow the Deliberative Democracy Consortium on Twitter: @delibdem

Follow the International Association of Public Participation [US] on Twitter: @IAP2USA

Resource Link: www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol11/iss1/art1/

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