Communication may lead to conflicts, and it may also help to come to peace. As communication is always based on language, it is makes sense to look behind the patterns that are chosen to get into dialogue.
Language consists of symbols, which can be words, melodies, icons, mems, dress-codes, architecture and much more. All those symbols influence our life and the way we perceive information. One and the same word (= symbol) can be used for friendly, so-called neutral and violent communication. The meaning mostly depends on frameworks, customs, experiences, emotions and of course attitudes. It is the media that influence all of them, sometimes informing us, on the other hand manipulating us and making us believe whatever someone wants us to believe.
By the way, the term “us/we” is already a form of manipulation, and it is used for peaceful projects as well as for propaganda or in conflict situations.
The aim of this course is to look at different aspects of language, communication and their use on the media. A second purpose is to take a glance behind the common use of words, structure or hierarchy of language and symbols. Systems of symbols (= languages) are able to support our creativity, and they also create socio-geopolitical, marginalising concepts and thoughts, which in the end can emphasise peace, conflict or war. Trying to disclose the media’s role in this game will be another aspect of this course.
- Professor: Daniela Ingruber