America’s reputation for Civility

October 21, 2014

America’s reputation for Civility

This is a big big topic — America’s reputation for civility or should I say incivility. At Weber Shandwick, we have just completed our fifth annual survey with Powell Tate and KRC Research. It’s a big idea, provocative and compelling thought that should be taken seriously. It affects everyone and everything, from social media, schools, media, workplace and our everyday lives. If you want to learn more, here is our report and infographic. Here is what we learned by surveying 1,000 Americans about civility in America. Our civility reputation is not good and hurt’s our nation’s reputation and stature in the world. There are some glimmers of hope, however, from Millennials.

  • Attitudes about the state of civility in America have not changed since 2010 – roughly two-thirds still believe that we have a major civility problem and seven in 10 believe that civility has eroded over the past few years. Americans remain pessimistic about the future of civility.
  • Nearly three-quarters of Americans believe that the U.S. is losing stature as a civil nation and approximately two-thirds believe that incivility is a crisis in America.
  • The majority of each generation perceives a civility problem in America, but Millennials are more optimistic than older generations about civility’s future. Our report this year focuses on generational differences and particularly Millennials where we see a sharp divide. Millennials have experienced more uncivil behavior than any other generation and yet they are America’s most hopeful adults when it comes to tomorrow’s civility.
  • Eight in 10 Americans believe that uncivil behavior is leading to an increase in violence. This view has been consistent for two consecutive years.

More to come on this topic since our civility reputation needs mending.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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