Argues that the reliance on sound bites in recent political discourse is harmful to the democratic process.
Sound-Bite Saboteurs examines the emergence of a multifaceted, multimedia culture that encourages the use of sound bites to silence one’s opponents at the expense of democratic deliberation and debate. No simple partisan phenomenon or mere attempt to “spin” a particular issue, sound-bite sabotage is, the authors argue, a sophisticated and media-savvy effort by public and private elites to destroy the grounds of public discourse, higher education, and democratic argument. By displacing democratic debate with political spectacle, sound-bite saboteurs attempt to keep citizens more entertained but less informed, more cynical but less engaged, more adept as consumers but less adept as agents. In a broad-based and integrated analysis of this phenomenon, the authors argue that sound-bite sabotage can and must be resisted both within the classroom and beyond.
“A provocative, well-written book.” — CHOICE
“This well-written and accessible book is a superb piece of interdisciplinary scholarship.” — Helena Silverstein, author of Girls on the Stand: How Courts Fail Pregnant Minors
Julie Drew is Associate Professor of English at the University of Akron. She is the coauthor (with William Lyons) of Punishing Schools: Fear and Citizenship in American Public Education and the coeditor (with Gary A. Olson) of Landmark Essays on Advanced Composition.William Lyons is Professor of Political Science at the University of Akron and is also the author of The Politics of Community Policing: Rearranging the Power to Punish.Lance Svehla is Associate Professor of English at the University of Akron.
Table of Contents
1. Sound-Bite Sabotage: Illustrative Stories and Techniques
Roots of Sound-Bite Sabotage: Private-Sector Leadership
3. Conflicts as Opportunities: Public-Sector Leadership
4. Saboteurs, Sound Bites, and Simulacra: Democratic Agency and Academic Discourse in a Digital Age
5. The Possibilities of Engaged Cynicism: Ideals, Practice, and Citizenship in a Democracy