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ERIC Number: EJ1024126
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Who Taught You to Talk Like That?: The University and Online Political Discourse
Smith, Elizabeth S.; Bressler, Alison
Journal of Political Science Education, v9 n4 p453-473 2013
Rancorous dialogue among political opponents is nothing new in the American political system. However, in the past two decades or so, pundits and scholars have noted an increase in the overall intensity and frequency of incivility among elected officials and citizens. At the collegiate level, many universities have undertaken some form of civility initiative to help students learn how to address political conversation in a civil manner. However, these initiatives are problematic in that they may tend to attract those already predisposed to such civility goals and lack in external validity. In this article, we investigate how university communities may be able to use online discussions, particularly spontaneous ones, to address controversial political issues. Using the asynchronous online postings at one liberal arts university, Furman University, in response to a campus visit by George W. Bush, we investigate the nature of political discourse in these unstructured political conversations. Through content analysis, we assess the level of democratic incivility versus impoliteness in the discussion, the role of anonymity in facilitating incivility, and the potential of such online exchanges for use by colleges to help socialize young people into how to engage in effective and civil political discourse.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina