Publication Date

2019

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Schraufnagel, Scot D.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Department

Department of Political Science

LCSH

Political science

Abstract

Incivility in Congress has often been attributed to partisan and ideological conflict, but there is a growing body of evidence that suggests incivility may hinge on factors concerning members' personal attitudes as defined by their life experiences. To investigate this, background and experiential factors that may lead to incivility are tested, including variables such as family dynamics, religion, occupation, and education. All of these factors are tested on the basis that they could have formative influence on a legislator's behavior and how they conduct themselves as a member of the US Congress. Seven members of Congress from the 45th to the 113th (1877-2015) who were randomly chosen from among the 20 members of Congress who were most-implicated in acts of incivility, in newspaper reports, make up my sample for evaluation. Findings strongly suggest that incivility is more than partisanship, and that non-political factors may lead to uncivil behavior among members of Congress. The research findings point to broad implications for the recruitment of members of Congress. Furthermore, there are distinct differences between members of Congress that may be called "partisans" and those I refer to as "radicals," the former adhering strongly to party cleavages and the latter motivated by other considerations.

Comments

Committee members: Clark, April; Pickerill, James.||Advisor: Schraufnagel, Scot D.||Includes bibliographical references.

Extent

75 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

Share

COinS