Does variation in political culture affect citizens' perceptions of political incivility? We theorize that Britons, being socialized into a political culture that is more permissive of uncivil political conversation than are Americans, will therefore be less sensitive to political incivility. We test for this variation by randomly exposing Britons and Americans to video clips of either civil or uncivil televised political debates. Results provide mixed evidence that Americans tend to perceive larger differences between civil and uncivil exchanges than Britons, indicating that they are calibrated to a different range of what constitutes civil political behavior. However, although Americans' perceptions of incivility span a wider range than Britons', Americans do not perceive politics overall as being more uncivil. These findings suggest that citizens' attitudinal and behavioral responses to uncivil behavior in political campaigns may be conditioned by varying norms of political civility.
Britzman, Kylee J. and Kantack, Benjamin R.
"Politics as Usual? Perceptions of Political Incivility in the United States and United Kingdom,"
Journal of Political Science: Vol. 47
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.coastal.edu/jops/vol47/iss1/2
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