Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version


Publication Source

The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication




After exploring the challenges involved in defining incivility, this chapter addresses the evolution of the concept, notes the dispute over trend lines, and précises work on its psychological effects. It then outlines some functions that civility and incivility serve, such as the functions of differentiating and mobilizing, marginalizing the powerless, expressing, and deliberating. The use of calls for civility as a means of social control is discussed, and then the chapter flags questions worthy of additional attention.

Copyright/Permission Statement

“The Political Uses and Abuses of Civility and Incivility” by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Allyson Volinsky, Ilana Weitz, and Kate Kenski in The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication edited by Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Kate Kenski, 2017, reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press.


civility, incivility, effects of incivility, functions of civility, functions of incivility



Date Posted: 12 July 2019