Educational possibilities of media-based public discussion. A phenomenological-philosophical analysis of the givenness of others

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

University of Oulu, Martti Ahtisaari -sali (L2), Linnanmaa

Topic of the dissertation

Educational possibilities of media-based public discussion. A phenomenological-philosophical analysis of the givenness of others

Doctoral candidate

Master of Social Sciences Minna-Kerttu Kekki

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Education, Values, Ideologies and Social Contexts of Education

Subject of study

Education

Opponent

Professor Tanja Staehler, University of Sussex

Custos

Professor Katariina Holma, University of Oulu

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Educational possibilities of media-based public discussion

This philosophical study investigates the educational possibilities of media-based public discussion by analyzing how we experience others in such discussions. The dissertation consists of three independently published articles investigating (a) the genuineness of the empathic experience in media-based public discussions and learning, (b) the ways the affectivity of others in media-based public discussions impacts changes in the subject’s sense-making, and (c) the possibilities of and the challenges to media-based public dialogue due to differences in the backgrounds of the participants. The study utilizes philosophical analyses provided by Edmund Husserl, Edith Stein, and Alfred Schütz.

In the three articles, I present the following arguments: (1) Media-based communication does not necessarily hinder a genuine empathy and thus the possibility to learn from media-based communication. (2) The way other affect us in the media-based public discussions over time is essential for the changes in how we make sense of the discussed objects. (3) Within a given society, the invisibility of the differences in the backgrounds of the members of the society may challenge the possibilities of media-based public dialogue.

Based on the three articles, I conclude that in media-based public discussions, both mediality
and publicness are essential in how we experience others in media-based public discussions. However, it is publicness that is decisive in the particular social context others appear to the subject. As the differences in our values, interests, and other social factors cannot be neglected in the context of the public sphere, I conclude that out of the three educational possibilities investigated in this dissertation (learning, change in sense-making, dialogue), the most meaningful educational possibility of media-based public discussions is public dialogue. However, no educational situation provides a panacea to the problems of media-based public discussions.
Last updated: 14.3.2022