Democracy, Civility, and Freedom of Expression

  • Antonini, M., Hogg, M. A., Mannetti, L., Barbieri, B., & Wagoner, J. A. (2015). Motivating citizens to participate in public policymaking: Identification, trust and cost-benefit analyses. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 3, 131-147.
  • Byline summary: Prejudicial remarks are often condoned when they are framed as exercising free speech rights. This research showed that individuals who evaluate African American more negatively were more likely to condone hurtful remarks directed towards Black and evaluate the remarks as protected by freedom of expression. Protecting free speech rights can condone racial bias.
  • Van Stekelenburg, J., Klandermans, B., & Akkerman, A. (2016). Does civic participation stimulate political activity? Journal of Social Issues, 72, 286-314.
  • Byline summary: Civic participation is widely regarded to play a pivotal role in increasing political action, but the role of civic participation in predicting political activity in not well understood. A survey with a nationally-representative sample revealed that not all civic participation leads to political action. This article describes specific types of civic participation that relate directly to civic political engagement.
  • Bilali, R., Vollhardt, J. R., & Rarick, J. R. D. (2017). Modeling collective action through media to promote social change and positive intergroup relations in violent conflictsJournal of Experimental Social Psychology, 68, 200-211.
  • Byline summary: Group-based violence still exists in Congo. This field experiment revealed that media can be effective in increasing collective action. Congolese who watched a fictional show in which characters plan collective action to address child labor exploitation were more interested in addressing the problem through collective action, than were those who watched a show about the same problem but lacking an action plan. However, the show promoting collective action also caused people to feel greater hostility towards other groups.
  • Van der Toorn, J., Napier, J. L., & Dovidio, J. F. (2014). We the people: Intergroup interdependence breeds liberalismSocial Psychological and Personality Science5, 616-622.
  • Byline summary: When White Americans are led to consider reminded of how they relate to others in terms of ‘we-ness’ rather than ‘I-ness’, they become more concerned about others’ welfare. Emphasizing how people are connected or “interdependent” can foster greater concern for fellow Americans.

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