Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2014


This essay considers questions about civility raised in the discourse responding to the January 2011 shootings in Tucson, Arizona. Focusing on two sites of discord—the debate in the media and President Obama’s address at the memorial service for the victims—our analysis identifıes two conceptions of civility and their corresponding assumptions about democracy and community, provides a critique of both conceptions, and offers a conceptual framework for rhetorical critics studying civility.


Copyright © 2014 by Michigan State University. This Article originally appeared in Rhetoric & Public Affairs Vol. 17, Iss.4, Winter 2014, pages 711-736.

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