Many pressing questions in political psychology pertain to citizens’ experiences in an increasingly immersive information environment. As news apps, push notifications, cable streaming services, and news aggregators grow more plentiful, the call to better understand how features of communication shape political behavior becomes more urgent. To that end, Emily Sydnor’s recent book Disrespectful Democracy represents an important and thorough examination of conflict orientation as a key determinant of behavior in a hostile media environment. Working from a definition of conflict orientation as “the way one experiences and reacts to a conflict situation” (p. 27), the book explains how and why conflict-averse citizens are deterred from political behavior—and why their conflict-approaching counterparts are stimulated—when uncivil discourse prevails.
Some readers familiar with work on incivility might recall earlier studies, such as Diana Mutz’s 2015 In-Your-Face Politics: The Consequences of Uncivil Media, as a useful point of departure for understanding Sydnor’s approach. Indeed, Sydnor reviews the growing literature on conflict orientation and hostility to great effect in the volume, carefully identifying the conceptual contours of her “incivility” (impoliteness
To continue reading, see options above.
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
The Powell Doctrine
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
Articles | Book reviews
PERSPECTIVES ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, 1992–2020
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.