The critical elements of public discourse include the following:
- Common ground
The speaker is the one who forwards the idea or point of concern to the audience for discussion. Members of the audience then get the chance to air their views as per the given subject. The argument at hand is the main topic of discussion that represents the view of the speaker. The proceeding requires common ground to ensure impartiality and freedom for people to voice their opinions. This is the relevance of the above elements.
There are a number of hindrances to Civil Discourse in our society today. Firstly, people seem to be very intolerant of one another more than ever before. When one has an opinion, he or she considers another person’s idea automatically inadmissible. This is damaging to the whole arrangement of civil discourse principles. Besides, capitalism seems to have terribly influenced in a way that each one believes in the antisocial philosophy of a ‘man for himself’. Additionally, bad political interests may divide people along lines of ideology, making them hostile to one another even in such matters of societal benefit.
The major hurdle in engaging in activities of civil discourse is getting people to believe in the whole concept. This is a matter that ought to get support from all stakeholders. Reaching a common ground for public discussions is difficult because people read entirely from different scripts.
To make this class an effective forum for civil discourse, I have the following suggestions:
- To devise rules and regulations to guide the class during public discussions;
- To educate the class on the essence of civil discourse;
- To come up with a list of social issues that require attention and need to be discussed;
- To invite guest speakers (both from within the institution and outside) to air their views and enlighten the audience on the whole concept of civil discourse.