Document Type

Book

Date

9-2016

Keywords

civility, good manners, rudeness, free speech, First Amendment, paradox, hypocrisy, United States, politics, public affairs

Language

English

Disciplines

American Politics | American Popular Culture | Civic and Community Engagement | Cultural History | Ethics and Political Philosophy | Gender and Sexuality | Political Theory | Public Affairs | Women's Studies

Description/Abstract

Is civility dead? Americans ask this question every election season, but their concern is hardly limited to political campaigns. Doubts about civility regularly arise in just about every aspect of American public life. Rudeness runs rampant. Our news media is saturated with aggressive bluster and vitriol. Our digital platforms teem with expressions of disrespect and trolls. Reflecting these conditions, surveys show that a significant majority of Americans believe we are living in an age of unusual anger and discord. Everywhere we look, there seems to be conflict and hostility, with shared respect and consideration nowhere to be found. In a country that encourages thick skins and speaking one's mind, is civility even possible, let alone desirable?

In How Civility Works, Keith J. Bybee explores the “crisis” in civility, looking closely at how civility intertwines with our long history of boorish behavior and the ongoing quest for pleasant company. Bybee argues that the very features that make civility ineffective and undesirable also point to civility's power and appeal. Can we all get along? If we live by the contradictions on which civility depends, then yes, we can, and yes, we should.

Additional Information

College of Law

Political Science Department in Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Source

submission

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.