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Overdoing DemocracyWhy We Must Put Politics in its Place$
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Robert B. Talisse

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190924195

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190924195.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 June 2021

The Problem of Polarization

The Problem of Polarization

Chapter:
(p.95) 4 The Problem of Polarization
Source:
Overdoing Democracy
Author(s):

Robert B. Talisse

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190924195.003.0005

This chapter completes the diagnostic argument by showing how the political saturation of social space contributes to our vulnerability to belief polarization. Belief polarization is the phenomenon by which like-minded individuals transform into more extreme versions of themselves in the wake of group interactions. It is argued that as the belief polarization effect can be prompted by mere corroboration of one’s views (rather than by face-to-face group discussion), politically saturated social environments can generate within us extremity shifts simply in the course of everyday activities. The belief polarization phenomenon initiates a broader polarization dynamic that dissolves citizens’ democratic capacities.

Keywords:   democracy, belief polarization, extremism, politics, citizen

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