• Uncivil Agreement

  • How Politics Became Our Identity
  • By: Lilliana Mason
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Gibel
  • Length: 5 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

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Uncivil Agreement

By: Lilliana Mason
Narrated by: Rebecca Gibel
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Publisher's Summary

Political polarization in America is at an all-time high, and the conflict has moved beyond disagreements about matters of policy. For the first time in more than 20 years, research has shown that members of both parties hold strongly unfavorable views of their opponents. This is polarization rooted in social identity, and it is growing. The campaign and election of Donald Trump laid bare this fact of the American electorate, its successful rhetoric of "us versus them" tapping into a powerful current of anger and resentment.  

With Uncivil Agreement, Lilliana Mason looks at the growing social gulf across racial, religious, and cultural lines, which have recently come to divide neatly between the two major political parties. She argues that group identifications have changed the way we think and feel about ourselves and our opponents. Even when Democrats and Republicans can agree on policy outcomes, they tend to view one another with distrust and to work for party victory over all else. 

Bringing together theory from political science and social psychology, Uncivil Agreement clearly describes this increasingly "social" type of polarization in American politics and will add much to our understanding of contemporary politics. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 The University of Chicago (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Uncivil Agreement

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Content not suited for an audio book

Very interesting finding, but hard to follow along. Lots of descriptions of tables and charts.

1 person found this helpful

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Not bad, but maybe missing a causal relationship

The book is written and read well. I did find it odd that all of the studies referenced had both social group dynamics and competition. The social group dynamics were cited a causal, while the unifying competition seemed to be addressed as neutral, a survey method or contributing only when combined with group social dynamics.

Perhaps it is the competition more than group identity that is causing the negative reactions. Just a thought to consider as you listen to the book.

I would recommend giving it a read overall especially if you are not a policy based voter.

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Telll us something we don't know

In 2009 in his book The Political Brain, Drew Westen wrote, without belaboring the point, that people vote their identities not their interests. This book provides excruciating detail that supports this statement but adds very little to Westen's simple formulation. In the process, it nearly bored me to the point of stopping. I kept thinking it was laying a foundation and would get more interesting. It never did. Much of the rest of it merely restates what should be obvious to anyone paying attention the last few years. If you know nothing about the subject matter this might be a good book for you. But then it assumes familiarity with some somewhat specialized statistical numeric terms that someone who knows nothing about the subject would likely need to have explained (e.g. describing study results in terms of decimal correlations rather than statistical percentages).

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Read a Synopsis

This book said in two hundred pages what could have been said in twenty. I would wager it's not really worth the time.

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Read it, don't listen to it

A very well-researched and important book. Unfortunately, it's a poor "listen" because it's mostly the narrator describing charts and statistics, which are much easier to read than imagine. On paper, it'd be a one hour skim (over mostly redundant statistics.) Again, a very important topic and great research. But it's not appropriate for an audio book.

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Succinct wisdom, factually based

Now five years after publishing it is very easy to see the accuracy of Mason’s theses. Sad that too few read or understood in 2018 and now in 2021. It is hard to get government to act in the interests of the public, of the electorate when the politicians owe their careers to the National party and its funders.