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Dagmar Ellerbrock, Lars Koch, Sabine Müller-Mall, Marina Münkler, Joachim Scharloth, Dominik Schrage and Gerd Schwerhoff


This article aims to introduce the concept of „Invecticity“ as a new perspective for social and cultural studies. It understands phenomena of insult and debasement, of humiliation and exposure as - cross-cultural and epoch-spanning - basic operations of societal communication. Due to their disruptive, stabilising or dynamising effects on social order, invective communication have the potential to unite and shape societies. This article subsumes such phenomena under the term Invectivity. The term includes all aspects of communication (either verbal or non-verbal, oral or written, gestural or graphic) that are used to degrade, to hurt or to marginalize others. Manifestations and functions of the Invective are not systemised under strict patterns but medially, politically, socially and aesthetically contextualized depending on the diverse historical contexts and complex constellations they occur in. Thus, they can only be properly understood as performative events which develop through the interaction of ascription, response and follow-up communication as well as by means of the social, discursive and media conditions in which they arise.