Demophilia: A discursive counter to demophobia in the early republic

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The term "democracy" is ambivalent-in the history of the United States, it has played both god term and devil term, and inspired both sacrifice and trembling. Robert L. Ivie has mapped the discourse by which American policy elites have said "no" to democracy-the rhetoric of "demophobia." This essay complements his analysis by mapping the discourse by which Americans began to say "yes" to democracy during President Thomas Jefferson's administration-the rhetoric of "demophilia." Understood as a discursive formation, demophilia creates space for rhetoric and deliberation that is closed by demophobia. In the process, demophilia disciplines democracy by producing deliberative subjects properly attuned to civil speech.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-154
Number of pages24
JournalQuarterly Journal of Speech
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education


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