Emotions and Civility
Everyday Talks about Politics with Rural Inhabitants of Southern Poland
Typical conversations about political matters are charged with emotion. Political matters are understood here as a thematic field involving talks about central authorities and parliament, as well as comments on news provided by the media. Talks about this topic often occur during neighborly meetings and family or social gatherings. I conducted ethnographic interviews to analyze how rural inhabitants talk about such political matters. During the interviews, especially polyphonic ones, I observed the accom-panying emotions, such as raised voices, faces bloodshot with irritation, lively gestures, the use of irony, and sometimes vulgar language and swearing. Anger, resentment, anxiety, fear, contempt, hostility, and even hatred were unmistakable signals of emotional involvement in political matters and engagement in debate about the common good and public affairs. Thus, the question arises: are such conversations a form of civility?
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