Download Politics As Symbolic Action. Mass Arousal and Quiescence by Murray Edelman PDF

By Murray Edelman

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It notes that the precipitating incident is typically trivial and the response to it out of all proportion in its scale of violence. Approximately 4 0 percent of the triggering incidents in the riots the Commission examined involved "allegedly abusive or discriminatory police actions," about 17 percent harassment or violence by whites against blacks, and about 22 percent black demonstrations or protest meetings. A wave of riots occurred 13 Erik Erikson, Young Man Luther (New York: Norton, 1958), pp.

558-62. 1 8 1 9 Information and Cognition 45 THE POLITICAL FUNCTION OF PUBLIC CONTROVERSY This view of the respective functions of meaning and information in building cognitions has as a corollary a nonobvious conclusion about the political function of public controversy and debate. For one thing it suggests that the most cherished, deeply rooted, and intensely held political beliefs are neither cued by explicit appeals to adopt them nor actively debated within the subcultures in which they are held.

E. Generation of perceptions that particular kinds of actions are evil. The dynamics are essentially the same as those for generation of perceptions that particular people are malevolent. T h e most revealing cases are those in which a particular kind of behavior does not in itself necessarily harm others, but nonetheless comes to be widely perceived as immoral or threatening: prostitution, gambling, liquor or marijuana consumption, advocacy of unpopular policies or polities. T o formally label them as illegal generates widespread perception of them as evil.

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