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Title: Dialogue as humanisation : implications of street discussion spaces in Côte d'Ivoire for learning and peace
Author: Tsolakis, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 5926
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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Literature on conflict and education often suggests that dialogue is a critical tool for restoring peaceful and humane relations between opposing groups, yet the meaning of 'dialogue' in these complex contexts requires both theoretical and empirical investigation. This study of dialogue in street discussion spaces in post-conflict Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire makes a distinct contribution to knowledge in these areas by both 1) providing rich, micro-level descriptions of dialogue processes and participant motivations and outcomes in non-formal learning spaces and 2) furthering theoretical conceptions of humanising dialogue through a joint reading of Martin Buber and Paulo Freire. Using the concept of 'humanising dialogue' and data collected during four months of qualitative fieldwork in Abidjan, this thesis argues that dialogue in street discussion spaces extends beyond objectives of 'conflict resolution' or 'deliberation' often found in literature on dialogue in post-conflict settings. The spaces evolved during 20 years of political turmoil from 1990-2011, but current, post-conflict motivations for participation in spaces expand beyond politics to include sociability, life advice, mutual aid, information on current events and justice. While moments of 'I-thou' mutuality and awareness arose, tendencies to 'other' opposing political groups, or fall into 'I-It' relationships were prominent and the settings themselves perpetuated hierarchical structures and gender inequalities, indicating how Buber's two-fold, non-linear dialogue can contribute to Freirean concept of transformation. Observational data also illuminates how dialogue processes strongly impacted the ways that participants' vernacularized political discourses and situated themselves within peacebuilding processes. Re-examining Freire and Buber's humanising dialogue in this context indicates a need to revisit how politicisation, learning and awareness raising function within culturally specific, conflict affected settings. The data also reveals lingering divisions in a country recently emerged from conflict and indicates possible pathways to peace through non-formal learning and dialogue in the spaces.
Supervisor: McCowan, T. ; Starkey, H. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available