Taking Incivility Seriously

Analyzing Breaches of Decorum in the us Congress (1891–2012)
  • Lawrence C. Dodd
  • Scot Schraufnagel


Even casual observers of the US Congress have heard about the heated exchanges, name calling, booing and hissing, and other uncivil breaches of decorum that have occurred in the House and Senate chambers in recent years. One has only to recall the shout from the floor of the House chambers, “You Lie!,” by Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) in September 2009, when President Barak Obama was explaining his national health-care plan to a joint televised session of Congress. The list of anecdotes and illustrations of norm-breaking and personal incivility are numerous, with most Congresses having at least one or two publicized uncivil acts as well as many less visible ones. But what are we to make of such actions?


Civil Disobedience Legislative Process Newspaper Coverage Party Government Party Polarization 
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Copyright information

© Scott A. Frisch and Sean Q Kelly 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence C. Dodd
  • Scot Schraufnagel

There are no affiliations available

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