Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

Jesse Wozniak

Committee Co-Chair

Joshua Woods

Committee Member

Joshua Woods

Committee Member

James Nolan


The objective of this research is to explore the possibilities for improving governmental relations (local, national, and international) using microcosms of cross-cultural dialogues facilitated with Socratic Inquiry methodology and their potential to project situational similarities into more formal political conversation. Using twenty-five recorded dialogues from The Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Public Diplomacy (World in Conversation), I have broadly observed the role of Socratic Inquiry facilitation in cross-cultural dialogues whose content varies across a span of contentious social topics. By generally accounting for a range of relevant social factors such as gender, body language, conversational tools, and proxies for empathy, I am able to cultivate a broad picture of how people with differing cultural backgrounds connect with and find empathy for one another in settings of contentious social conversation with the help of facilitators trained in Socratic Inquiry methodology. I posit that these findings can be translated into higher-level political settings and serve as a flexible canvas for which fairer and more inclusive agreements can be reached.

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