Consensus concept – social, scientific, political, dissent

We explain what consensus is in the social, scientific and political fields. Also, the origin of the term and what is dissent.

Consensus implies full conformity, without opposition.

What is consensus?

When we use the term consensus we mean any form of agreement reached through the express consent of all those involved, that is, through unanimity. The issues decided in this way are called consensual and, on the other hand, the lack of consensus or lack of agreement between the parties is known as dissent.

The word consensus comes from Latin consensus, which can be translated as “approved by all” and is made up of the voices with (“Next to”) and sensus (“sense”). It is a word closely related to consent, consent and good sense.

Everything that is agreed by consensus is unanimously approved, that is, in full compliance, without opposition. In this it differs from majority decisions, in which there is always a minority opposed to what has been decided, that is, dissatisfied.

Social consensus

In sociology, it is known as social consensus to degree of integration that individuals in a group present with respect to a decision made or a common project. It is a measure of the intensity of social interactions within the group, regardless of the size of the group.

The social consensus It is largely determined by the perception within the group of authorities, or of the group itself, or of the decisions taken: to the extent that these social relationships are perceived to be consensual, that they are governed by common norms, then there will be greater social consensus and greater scope for participation.

To calculate the degree of social consensus of a group, it is possible to use various statistical tests of free distribution, which, through the so-called Pearson’s rank correlation coefficient or the so-called Kendall rank correlation coefficient, express the consensus margin obtained. from the evaluated sample.

Scientific consensus

scientific consensus
Scientific consensus is something no one doubts about, like Earth’s orbit.

When talking about scientific consensus, reference is made to the position or general and majority opinion of the scientific field as a whole, regarding a particular topic or a field of study. In other words, scientific consensus is the convergent vision on an issue that expresses the official position of science about.

Scientific consensus is often alluded to regarding controversial issues in public opinion, and not so much for specialized issues. Thus, when resorting to the official scientific position of scholars in the field, scientific arguments or specialized reasoning can be obtained that, thanks precisely to consensus, are taken as objectives.

The latter means that the entire scientific community – at least the one formally recognized as such – agrees on a set of visions, knowledge and knowledge that have been experimentally tested and that they could not have been falsified or invented, since the scientific community observes itself and consensus is continually demanded, that is, unanimous approval.

Political consensus

In the field of politics, consensus is understood as the ability to agree on the different social actors and interests that make up society, through negotiations.

In other words, political consensus is built when the sectors involved are convinced to carry out a measure or support a cause, instead of imposing them unilaterally through force or coercion.

The political consensus generally involves pacts or agreements between organizations and actors who decide to cooperate with respect to a cause. For example, in parliamentary democracies, the government is made up of multiple partisan political forces, forced to continually negotiate and win and give ground in order to establish some type of decision.

Consensus and dissent

If the consensus is the homogeneous agreement between the parties involved, the dissent is just the opposite: the lack of homogeneity between the positions of the actors involved that makes unanimity impossible. Dissent or dissidents are those who embrace positions contrary to the one approved or for which the majority votes.