Discussion Group -
Diskusná skupina - “miniatúra mysliacej spoločnosti”
The importance of studying biased opinions and stereotypes in the context of group discussion is pointed out in the present study. The main question posed was to find out whether there are any differences in the conversation of the Slovak and English subjects, after expression of biased opinion in small group discussion. The way in which the confrontation was conducted was of the particular interest. Twelve Slovak and seven English discussions were analysed. Conversation was elicited by abstract problem presented in the form of dilemma (right of individual vs. public interest). The following categories of biased portraying of HIV-infected person was identified in both, Slovak and English discussions:
- -stereotyping all or the majority of HIV-infected as homosexuals, drug users, promiscuous, not taking precautions (condoms and clean needles)
- -blaming HIV-infected for causing the disease by irresponsible behaviour
- -assumption that HIV-infected are going to be vindictive (will intentionally spread the disease).
It was found that in Slovak discussions nobody opposed the biased views. In some cases disagreement with the proposals of the discussion partner was present, but it was not explicitly directed against the biased opinion. In general, Slovak discussants tend to address the general problem exposed in the task rather than the views of the discussion partner. The emerging picture reminds a mosaic of separated ways of thinking. On the other hand, in the English discussions detailed inquiry of partner’s biased views was observed. In some interactions it was possible even to see remarkable sensitivity and ability to take perspective of the partner. It was concluded that group discussion does provide a room for counterbalance and modification of biased or authoritarian opinions. However, it requires communication skills, in particular skills how to oppose - how to express disagreement, together with preserving the dignity of the partner. Basic steps for constructive confrontation are suggested.
Bibliografické informácie (sk)
PLICHTOVÁ, Jana - BERECKÁ, Oľga. Diskusná skupina - “miniatúra mysliacej spoločnosti”. Človek a spoločnosť, 1998, roč. 1, č. 3.
PLICHTOVÁ, Jana - BERECKÁ, Oľga. Discussion Group - "Miniature of thinking society". Individual and Society, 1998, Vol. 1, No. 3.