Motivations for Deliberation Essay

Motivations for Deliberation Essay

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In a deliberation, it is essential to be motivated by something to deliberate. There are certain characteristics that define deliberation as outlined in Gastil’s criteria, but an underlying question is why do people choose to take part on a deliberation? What makes us want to follow criteria stated by Gastil? In our recent class deliberations, it seems that in order to be motivated to deliberate a topic, we must have true personal stakes in the topic at hand. Being college students, we are living, breathing examples of this discussion. I feel as though if there had been a topic which none of us were interested in, the deliberation would have been a flop. Throughout the course of our deliberation around the National Issues Forum on Higher Education, the two most prominent problems I saw included our inability to, in the words of John Gastil, “make the best decision possible." In our deliberation on Higher Education, decisions towards deliberations were mainly chosen based on major. I feel like by having a topic which hits close to home, everyone felt passion and had a strong sense of what they wanted, as pointed out in their personal stakes. There is a reason Gastil’s analytic process starts with the step of “creating a solid information base.” Without it, deliberation loses the necessary concreteness. I believe that although a deliberation may consist of many positive characteristics on the surface, a true deliberation involves open, organized give and take with the discovery of a final common ground, rather than defense or contentment leading to unresolved conflict.
At the start of the deliberation, every person went around and stated their personal stake. Most went on to talk about their majors, minors, previous credits and so ...

... middle of paper ...

...ith valid consideration. Deliberation can only work when deliberators embrace views contrary to their own and learn how to work with people holding contrary views.
Deliberation must involve collaboration. Deliberation does not require compromising but allows open exchange and an accurate reflection of beliefs, because the outcome of deliberation is common ground, not artificial agreement. Our group did an effective job of keeping the deliberation going, although it was much harder to find a common ground. Some felt so strongly about the math/science majors being a main priority and others did not. Without the pressure to form an agreement however, the group did not pressure each other enough to find the common ground that exists between our differences. Part of our failure to discover common ground was due to our reluctance to identify a broad range of solutions.

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