Irony and Outrage: The Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the United States

Product Details
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.3 X 1.1 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author
Dannagal Goldthwaite Young is Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Delaware and the Center for Political Communication, a Distinguished Research Fellow with the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and member of the National Institute for Civil Discourse Research Network. Her research on the psychology, content, and effects of political entertainment has been widely published in academic journals and media outlets, including The Atlantic, The New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review, Variety, and National Public Radio. She has also been an improvisational comedian with ComedySportz Philadelphia since 1999, and is the creator and host of Dr. Young Unpacks, a playful deep dive into the psychology of media, politics, and pop culture.

"[Irony and Outrage] is engaging, funny, and particularly informative about the differences between liberals' and conservatives' political media consumption and its potential effects." -- Perspectives on Politics

"Irony & Outrage undoubtedly makes a radical contribution to the fields of political communication and psychology of communication by advancing our understanding of a topic that is both a long-standing academic concern and a central issue in the current national conversation in the United States and beyond." -- InMedia

"[Y]oung's writing style here is quite approachable and should appeal to a wide audience beyond the ivy towers of academia." -- Journal of Communication

"Irony and Outrage is already a classic in the field, and it will be read, I hope, by generations of graduate students." -- Journalism

"Especially those who teach social policy classes at the undergraduate level should benefit from having [Irony and Outrage] on their mental horizons. Students will find it engaging to read and valuable for sorting out debates on topical issues." -- Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

"If you love political comedy or opinion shows, or if you hate them, or if you're just concerned about the sorry state of our polarized country, you'll enjoy reading this book. Young gives the best explanation I've seen as to why political shows on the left and right are so different-and so important as shapers of American politics." -- Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind

"Dannagal Young's Irony and Outrage is a scholarly and deep, well-researched, and unique study into the history, politics, and psychology behind how and why we, the people, pick and choose the media we consume. Also, I loved the parts where she interviews comedians and they say funny things. Irony and Outrage is a thought-provoking, enlightening, and very fun read!" -- Ed Greenberg, The Committee and The Second City

"As a political journalist who's spent way too much time on the conservative convention circuit, I've seen way too many unfunny right-wing comedians do terrible Barack Obama impressions, and I happily muted Mike Huckabee's gravy-based joke routine on Twitter a long time ago. But as Dannagal Young's Irony and Outrage shows us, exploring the age-old question of why aren't conservatives funny reveals so much much more about the American political character than we might admit. The types of media that liberals and conservatives create and choose to engage with are actually natural expressions of our psychologies, our needs, and our personalities. This book is essential reading in our polarized and outraged times; it turns out that what we watch and how we laugh correlate closely to how we vote." -- Peter Hamby, Snapchat's Good Luck America

"In this engaging tour de force, Professor Dannagal Goldthwaite Young upends conventional wisdom about the ancestry, function, effects, and synergies between the satire of the left and outraged opinion talk of the right." -- Kathleen Hall Jamieson, University of Pennsylvania

"Dannagal Young's book made me laugh when she quoted comedians and -when when I wasn't chuckling-it made me consider her argument and reconsider some of my own. If you have an appetite for an academic overview of political discourse in our country and in our time, this book should satisfy that hunger." -- Alan Myerson, Director of The Second City and co-founder of The Committee

"Painstakingly-researched, yet irresistibly accessible, Irony and Outrage is a monumental contribution to our thinking about American political comedy, certain to be widely assigned and cited in political science, communications, psychology, and media studies for years to come. Young builds an engaging and provocative argument-challenging readers' assumptions about the very origins of our political tastes and preferences in a way that is bound to inspire robust debate (and perhaps even a little outrage) among fans, pundits, and academics alike." -- Sarah Sobieraj, co-author of The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility