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How does hate speech make me feel?

Citizenship

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Recap

Remind participants that hate speech and hateful content triggers strong emotional responses in people involved in the situation. Identifying these emotions and using strategies (meta-moments) to regulate our emotional state allows us to take appropriate action in a conflict situation; action that may diffuse the situation peacefully, or at the very least do nothing that would exacerbate it.

The Media analysis unit explored how selection and editing of imagery may elicit strong emotional responses that require regulation.

The Media production unit explored hate speech scenarios that would produce strong emotional responses, how these emotions might affect the actions of those involved, and how strategies to regulate emotion can alter the outcome of a situation.


This Citizenship unit aims to build on the learning from the Media production unit, using elements of the powerful performances as a way to raise awareness in your community of hate speech, the emotions it can evoke, and the importance of using positive strategies to manage emotions, actions, personal safety and the safety of others around us.

Prompt Questions

These questions are provided as examples to initiate and guide discussions around the topic in this focus area.

  • What feelings are evoked by hate speech?
  • How do these feelings affect actions/behaviour? (e.g. if someone is feeling angry, they may…)
  • What strategies do you know for regulating emotions?
  • Which of these strategies are best suited for scenarios involving hate speech?
  • What advice would you give to someone involved in a hate speech situation? (e.g. the target, a bystander, the perpetrator, etc.)
  • How do young people in your community like to get advice/information? (e.g. posters, online sources, presentations/performances, lessons, etc.)

Main Activity

The SELMA project short definition of hate speech is:

“Any online content targeting someone based on protected characteristics with the intent or likely effect of inciting, spreading or promoting hatred or other forms of discrimination.”

Reflect upon the performances from the Media production unit.

(If your group has not performed these, choose one of the scenarios and study the cards together to understand the scenario and the people characters).

Using the Character analysis card and the relevant character card from the media production scenarios, split participants into small groups and give them one of the characters to analyse.

For each character they should record the following:

  • Emotions felt by the character during the scenario.
  • Actions the character took as a result of those emotions.
  • Strategies the character could use to regulate their emotions.
  • Alternative actions the character could take that might result in a positive outcome.

Ask each group to feed back their character analysis and record the regulation strategies and alternative actions on a large piece of paper for reference.

Call to action

The group must share with their community some of the regulation strategies and alternative actions they have identified. How can they reach their chosen audience?

Multi-channel opportunities

This call to action is well suited to being shared both online and offline. Participants could choose to perform their drama piece live to an audience in their school community or local community, or they could film the performance and share it with their community online. There is scope to tell the “story” of the piece in other ways - as a radio play, through messages on social media or through other visual methods (e.g. storyboards, dramatic still photos/tableaus, comic strips, etc.).

Depending on the method used, participants could also use online tools to gauge their audience’s response (e.g. using online polling/survey tools to see who the audience sided with, their feelings about the scenario, and what they would suggest the target could do to manage the conflict).

Tasks

Explain to participants that their task is to share with their community the regulation strategies and alternative actions they have identified in the activity. They must consider how they can share this advice in a way that is engaging and motivating. Their chosen method will also help raise awareness of situations involving prejudiced and hateful views/behaviours that their peers may experience.

A number of options are available:

  • Perform one (or more) of the media production scenarios to a new audience (e.g. in a school assembly, to a group of peers/parents and carers, as a radio/podcast performance).
  • Tell the story of one of the media production scenarios to a new audience. This could be through spoken word, creating a comic strip/storyboard, a short series of tweets/social media messages, etc.
  • Use imagery to make a statement/highlight an important message - e.g. take a still photo of a scenario performance that conveys the emotions and actions of those involved.
  • Another method that will appeal to your community.

Alongside the chosen option, participants must share at least one key piece of advice for regulating feelings and alternative actions. They need to consider the audience they wish to target (e.g. peers, parents/carers, teachers/educators, the public).

Outcome Criteria

  • Raise awareness of hateful situations in which young people may be targeted.
  • Highlight emotions, regulation strategies and alternative outcomes in hate speech situations.

Resources

Raise awareness of hateful situations in which young people may be targeted. Highlight emotions, regulation strategies and alternative outcomes in hate speech situations.

Resource

Character analysis

Using drama/effective storytelling to share regulation strategies and alternative actions.

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Karakteranalyse

Using drama/effective storytelling to share regulation strategies and alternative actions.

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Charakteranalyse

Using drama/effective storytelling to share regulation strategies and alternative actions.

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Ανάλυση χαρακτήρα

Using drama/effective storytelling to share regulation strategies and alternative actions.

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