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Spring 2009, 39:2, pages 170 - 188

Dissent As "Aid and Comfort to the Enemy": The Rhetorical Power of Naive Realism and Ingroup Identity


This paper argues that, for many people and in many circumstances, public deliberation is about group identity rather than argumentation. Research on ingroup and outgroup thinking in social psychology helps to explain why thinking in terms of group identity is so powerful. The power comes from the promise that the world is a stable and easily known place, made up of discrete and transparent groups.

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