Communicating in a Civil Society When Incivility Reigns
Maureen Taylor, Ph.D.
French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville first recognized America in the 1830s as a civil society where citizens shared values, worked together and solved local problems. The term civil society regained popularity when Robert Putnam (2000) published Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. Putnam warned us that American civil society was waning as we no longer shared the same information sources, knew our neighbors or joined groups.
In 2018, civil society is threatened each day as American citizens wake up to more scandals, “fake news” and attempts to divide our society by domestic and international actors.
This presentation will discuss civil society from a communication standpoint. Maureen Taylor, Ph.D. is Beaman Professor and Director of the School of Advertising and Public Relations at University of Tennessee. Taylor has actively participated in civil society initiatives across the world including Iraq, Afghanistan, Liberia, Sudan, Pakistan and the nations of the Former Yugoslavia as these nations recover from conflict.
Taylor will speak about the role of communication, media, civil society groups and how we can recreate civility. She will draw upon examples from post conflict nations to show how our local communities can structure civil society processes to address local problems.