Do you believe civility in America is on the decline? Before you answer, go to your Facebook page and see what people are saying about the latest hot-button issue. Disagreements between different individuals will always be a given, but that does not mean people cannot still be civil to one another.
Civility in General
According to a survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 74 percent of American citizens believe that civility as a whole has deteriorated. This study asked people about common actions that people see every day such as being on your cell phone while eating dinner. (This finding, it’s important to note, might be explained by the survey population and generational differences between older individuals who are more likely than younger people to view frequent cell phone activity as disrespectful behavior.)
According to Science Daily:
“The study finds that people are generally in agreement about what sort of behavior is unacceptable. Behavior ranging from use of cell phones in restaurants to swearing in public or online is universally considered to be ill-mannered, but differences in these opinions, and the likelihood of an individual personally engaging in such behavior, emerge based on age and gender.”
Civility in Politics
Based on this survey, it seems like the general consensus is that the population as a whole has gotten ruder. When it comes to American politics, that belief also holds true. Eighty percent of those surveyed believe politicians should hold themselves to higher standards when it comes to being polite.
It is difficult to pin down a reason as to why people perceive culture as being more ill-mannered than it used to be. However, this social science research is certainly revealing.