Session and Workshop Abstracts

Session 3E (S3E) - Abstracts

Political accountability and intercultural communication in education: the paving towards new, more ethical societies

Paper 1: Reflexivity and Sensitivity: Researching the Perceptions of UK students on Identities and Cultural Diversity 

Speaker(s): Mona Helmi

Keywords:  Intercultural communication, awareness, identity, Willingness to communicate

 

Abstract: In literature, little research was found probing the status of UK students’ awareness of identities, cultural diversity and their communication patterns and friendship with international students in their intercultural context in Higher Education. The ethical issues around this kind of topic, ethnic and cultural discipline, are usually sensitive and require high attentiveness to the procedures and the details in every stage of the research. When UK students expressed their understanding of identities, cultures and values, they also showed an account of self-awareness, which resulted in a dialogue that is infused with high degree of emotions and required maintain sensitivity to cultural and social differences. One of the top policies applied whilst collecting the data to meet ethical and legal obligations toward participants was confidentiality of the narratives of participants. Other ethical challenges were faced underpinning other issues, such as when interpreting and reporting the dialogue of the students as the data had to have the necessary balance between objectivity and subjectivity. 

The reflexivity role emphasized the way knowledge was acquired from participants, which sometimes unfolded unexpected ethical conflicts. For instance, I was not fully aware of the ethical challenges I may face when I first decided to conduct a study on intercultural communication in a United Kingdom University. At the beginning, the mixed method study examined 184 British students in the questionnaires and explored 10 British students in the Semi-Structured Interviews. The data collection and analysis was done with full integrity by conforming to the ethical guidelines. The participants’ answers were reported honestly, avoiding bias in any aspect of the research and protecting the participants’ identity and privacy. However, the occurrence of a huge gap between white British and mixed British perceptions on identity and culture caused unexpected focus shift from British and international students to British and British students, thus, the reliability and validity of all collected data had to be reviewed a number of times. The study finally resulted in six major influences and implications that need further discussion and attention: The British identity quandary, black British history, Brexit, British students’ impression of international students’ language competency, friendship formation between white British and international students and the role of the University in resolving intercultural communication challenges. Resolving these current issues may result in well-rounded academic and social experiences for both UK and international students.

Paper 2: Is Ethics Pertinent to Politics?

Speaker(s): Dr. Swati Bijawat

Keywords: Politics, Ethics, Solicitation, Honesty, Values, Justice

 

Abstract: Politics is an essential activity in building societies and communities based on laws and to create a balance in conflicting interests of the various stakeholders of the society. Ethics in politics is omnipresent it refers to a code of conduct regulating and instructing the behaviour of the leaders indulged in the political profession. Ethics adds a decisive value to politics by securing fair treatment of political leaders, stressing equity and fairness, reminding us that the limitations of power are essential in politics. This interpretation includes the nature of interactions along with the duty and obligations owed by the political leader to the widespread population in each culture. The political leaders are charged with the mandate of offering their service to the common people without conflict, discrimination, solicitation and misappropriation of civic funds. On common grounds, politics demands respect and commitment especially in terms of democracies.

 

A trust in the same is essential for the existence of various societies coherently. But unwarranted practices can be found everywhere an overlook of the same portrays a complete opposite image of the political leaders. The so-called representative of “Common Man” are often seen as solicited, fixers and corrupt instead of working for the welfare of the wider population often the political leaders emerged as selfish and dishonest. In contrast to all the negativity many politicians with honest attitude and intentions are trying to give their best to empower the mass population. In recent years’ multiple political initiatives, policies and movements are being initiated to re-establish trust and acceptance making a difference in the thinking of people. This article is an assertion i.e. YES, ethics in politics do exist and it is not an impossible dream to achieve. By presenting case studies and practical examples the strong affirmation of the same would be established that the existence of ethical values in politics is not a "Utopia" rather a tool for establishing Justice and morality in the Political System of multicultural societies.