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The Communication of Hate


Michael Waltman and John Haas

The book was awarded the 2011 NCA Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression.
This book sets out to explore how hate comes alive in language and actions by examining the nature and persuasive functions of hate in American society. Hate speech may be used for many purposes and have different intended consequences. It may be directed to intimidate an out-group, or to influence the behavior of in-group members. But how does this language function? What does it accomplish? The answers to these questions are addressed by an examination of the communicative messages produced by those with hateful minds. Beginning with an examination of the organized hate movement, the book provides a critique of racist discourse used to recruit and socialize new members, construct enemies, promote valued identities, and encourage ethnoviolence. The book also examines the strategic manipulation of hatred in our everyday lives by politicians, political operatives, and media personalities. Providing a comprehensive overview of hate speech, the book ends by describing the desirable features of an anti-hate discourse that promotes respect for social differences.


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Acknowledgments vii


Acknowledgements Various phases of this research received generous support from the University of North Carolina through a Spray-Randleigh Fellowship from the College of Arts and Sciences, a Moister Fellowship from the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, and a Faculty Engaged Scholar Fellowship from the Carolina Center for Public Service. We want to acknowledge Howie Giles and Mary Savigar for the respect they showed our ideas and for creating a valuable and delightful partnership. Michael wishes to express his appreciation for the Waltmans and Leysieffers whose love and encouragement inspired and sustained this research. We dedicate our work to the memories of Maria Feldt Haas and Dr. Bill Waltman, parents who taught us our first lessons about the dangers of hate and the importance of genuine respect for social differences.

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