Communication towards Equality – Observations on a seminar by Dr. Eloísa Nos Aldás.
“Teaching ‘Generation Like’ about digital global citizenship: A case study from Spain”. Tuesday 19 June 2018, UCL Institute of Education’s Development Education Research Centre (DERC).
This insightful seminar, delivered as part of the DERC Seminar Series, demonstrated that progress towards a “cosmopolitan equilibrium” can be achieved through a critical, value-based pedagogy in the sphere of communication.
The role of social-media in the lives of ‘Generation Like’ took centre stage in Dr. Eloísa Nos Aldás’ (Universitat Jaume I) talk, with arguments being made that the personal is both socialised and politicised in this arena, for digital connections often blur the lines between the private and the public. As a tutor of communication science, Dr. Nos Aldás seeks to inform her students of the power of advertising to shape ‘socio-political pseudo realities’ - namely a capacity to transform public opinion and significantly influence the outcome of referenda and elections.
Critically, therefore, Dr. Nos Aldás argues that an ‘advertising rationality’ must be complemented by an understanding of ‘cognitive diversity’. Indeed, once trained by this critical pedagogy which envisions alternatives, communicators became self-aware of their great agency to catalyse change with seismic cultural consequences. In fact, they now possess an ability to both reframe the roots of a matter and reimagine the outcome. They have become trained dissenters, able to transform structural patterns of injustice. As a result, many understand that they can go beyond the commercial, and, instead, focus their skills on shaping civic matters. Once they have utilised their technical abilities to penetrate the shallowness of surface-level ideas in conversation - “surface frames” - their new found critical awareness increases the likelihood of accessing those “deep frames” that are often laden with assumption.
The advertiser, therefore, can engage in an ethical endeavour, utilising digital skills to illuminate the different paces of individuality. Thus, they can shape a discourse built upon the inclusive, universal and emancipated values of “Global Citizenship”.
Dr. Nos Aldás was a visiting researcher at DERC during May and June 2018 and delivered this seminar as part of her work with the centre.
Written by: Kushal Sohal, ANGEL Project Volunteer. (Undergraduate at UCL, Reading History [2016-2019])