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2007 - American Sociological Association Pages: 18 pages || Words: 4943 words || 
1. Lune, Howard. "Uncivil Society: The Failure of Inclusion in Online Discussions of Inclusion" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, TBA, New York, New York City, Aug 11, 2007 Online <PDF>. 2019-09-24 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Given the assumption that some sort of rational discourse, as an ideal-type, is approachable if not absolutely achievable, and the assumption that some segments of society are more practiced in the kinds of language that allows such a discourse, and, finally, the assumption that particular subjects are often disinterested in universal understanding, I ask whether we can identify and situate “uncivil” discourse strategies within the context of civil discourse. This analysis is concerned with one obstacle to democratic pluralism, the tendency for participants in public discussions to frame both issues and other participants in competitive terms. I posit that there will be discernable patterns to how, when and by whom such strategies are invoked, and that a significant use of these strategies will be to defend and reify as universal the particular perspective that is most closely associated with both modernist thought. To test this thesis, I analyze the content of online discussions linked to stories appearing in Inside Higher Ed, an online journal for higher education professionals. Relative to the population at large, IHE reader/participants are, on average, more practiced in effective communicative action and more privileged by the modernist value system that endorses civil society as an ideal. Thus, participants often get to choose between enacting civil discourse and defending their own positions. This paper examines uncivil discourse strategies in light of theories of civil society.

2005 - The Law and Society Words: 246 words || 
2. Trexler, Jeffrey. "Uncivil Society" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society, J.W. Marriott Resort, Las Vegas, NV, <Not Available>. 2019-09-24 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: The Red Cross and al Qaeda are both nonprofit institutions. However, current nonprofit research lacks a theory that extends both to NGOs that promote peace and those that support violence. Instead, we typically dismiss groups that foster social conflict as “shams,” “fronts,” or illegal “diversions of charitable assets.” By limiting our definitions of nonprofit identity to groups whose actions we approve, we also limit our understanding of how the nonprofit form can equally generate an ethic of caring and an impulse to destroy.

Uncivil Society will develop a critical history of charity in law. Mainstream neo-Tocquevillian paradigms had unquestionable appeal in a time of peace, but they seem increasingly irrelevant to government officials determined to forestall more terrorist attacks. The result is law made in a theoretical vacuum and a return to the mistakes of the past, when government suspicion of civil society led to counterproductive constraints on associative freedom.

My ultimate aim in pursuing this project is to help forestall both charitable violence and excessive regulation by leveraging the complex dynamics of nonprofit form. In normalizing the sense of an identity beyond the narrow self, the law of NGOs generates a differentiated network of seemingly contradictory forms, many of which have the potential to exhibit both benevolent and destructive behavior at the same time. Uncivil Society will help us learn to harness this dynamic by recognizing how nonprofit form can both heighten and devalue a respect for human life.

2008 - MPSA Annual National Conference Words: 23 words || 
3. Wilson, Joshua. "Law and the Justification of Aggressive and Uncivil Politics" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the MPSA Annual National Conference, Palmer House Hotel, Hilton, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2019-09-24 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This is a study concerning the tension between the ability of law to play a role in either civilizing or justifying hostile politics.

2011 - International Communication Association Pages: unavailable || Words: 8572 words || 
4. Muddiman, Ashley. "Something About Incivility: Impact of Uncivil Mediated Messages on Political Trust and Perceived Entertainment Value" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, TBA, Boston, MA, May 25, 2011 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-09-24 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The popularity of conflict-oriented news programs and ideological blogs elicits worries of increasing political incivility, but the concept of incivility has been understudied in an academic context. Research has linked uncivil mediated messages to decreased political trust, but also to increased levels of arousal, entertainment value, and political interest. The current study builds on previous research by conducting a 2(civil/uncivil message) x 2(television/blog) factorial experiment to compare the effects of uncivil messages mediated through different formats. Statistical tests show no significant relationship between the civility of messages and political trust and no significant moderating effect of communicating incivility through different media. The study finds that participants in the uncivil conditions perceived significantly more entertainment value from both televised and blogged messages than participants in the civil conditions. The implications of the findings are discussed.

2016 - American Political Science Association Annual Meeting Words: 697 words || 
5. Groshek, Jacob. "On the Go, Political, and Uncivil: Civic Discourse on Mobile Social Networks" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, TBA, Philadelphia, PA, Sep 01, 2016 <Not Available>. 2019-09-24 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This study explores one of the most pivotal questions of contemporary politics – how digital, and more specifically mobile technologies, are transforming not just the ways in which individuals communicate about political issues with one another but more importantly how they express themselves in that discourse. Here, we examine a variety of political topics from issues such as gay marriage and candidates in the current presidential campaign to better model which sorts of users are active opinion leaders, and whether mobile or web-based content tends more toward greater incivility and impoliteness.
Since the time when people first started communicating online, there has been an ongoing debate over the capacity for digital political communication to become hostile and polarize or silence participants (Baum & Groeling, 2008; Lee, Choi, & Kim, 2014; Prior, 2013). Though we know this is especially true for anonymous online forums (Santana, 2014), relatively little work has examined the importance of place, device, and certain types of content indicators, such as retweets and user mentions. And while Murthy and his colleagues (2015) recently found differences where tweets from mobile platforms were more egocentric and negative than web-based tweets, there is no research to date that has examined how the shift of social media to mobile devices relates to the civility of user posts.
This gap in the literature is crucial because from a practical sense, mobile communication has intersected with online and social media in such a way that has made these spaces anything but separate. For example, Twitter recently released statistics indicating that 80% of its users access the service through a mobile device. Yet, just as previous research has shown that communicating face-to-face facilitates conversations unique from interactions over electronic media (Baym, Zhang, & Lin, 2004), this study investigates how the shift to communicating digitally while mobile factors into civility as one of the historically fundamental aspects of citizen politics.
In addition, it has been shown that users tend to filter political content on Twitter based on their personal preferences (Jürgens, Jungherr, & Schoen, 2011), which suggests that exposure to cross-cutting political viewpoints on social networks, especially civil discourse, may indeed be quite rare. Thus, in carrying out this inquiry, public content from Twitter about the 2016 presidential election will be collected through an established Twitter collection and analysis toolkit that handshakes with the Twitter streaming API on an ongoing basis and that has already archived over 212 million tweets. Using this interface as a starting point, through a combination of human coding (where preliminary analyses have already identified indicators of increased incivility in mobile communication) and machine learning (with an already developed and field-tested algorithm), this study hits squarely upon emerging methodological considerations for making sense of mobile political communication, and what the implications can be not only for this presidential election in the US but the future of politics more broadly.
Finally, what is expressed in mobile communication is of particular importance, especially as that output has been vastly understudied but fundamental cornerstone of interpreting the personal and social effects of digital political communication platforms. This study sheds a necessary light on mobile content both in its methodology and its findings, which will be situated in a larger context of what internet and mobile phone access has meant for political discussion and campaigning. Implications for the changing role of journalism and media in democratic civil society are further included as part of this study.


Baum, M.A. and Groeling, T. (2008). New media and the polarization of American political discourse. Political Communication, 25(4): 345-365
Baym, N., Zhang, Y. B., & Lin, M. (2004). Social Interactions across Media: Interpersonal Communication on the Internet, Telephone, and Face-to-Face. New Media & Society, 6(3), 299-318.
Jürgens, P., Jungherr, A., & Schoen, H. (2011). Small worlds with a difference: New gatekeepers and the filtering of political information on twitter. Proceedings of the 3rd International Web Science Conference, Koblenz, Germany.
Lee, J. K., Choi, J., Kim, C. and Kim, Y. (2014). Social media, network heterogeneity, and opinion polarization. Journal of Communication, 64: 702–722. doi: 10.1111/jcom.12077
Prior, M. (2013). Media and political polarization. Annual Review of Political Science, 16: 101-127. doi: 10.1146/annurev-polisci-100711-135242
Santana, A. D. (2014). Virtuous or Vitriolic. Journalism Practice, 8(1), 18-33.

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