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public opinion

The aggregation of the views of individuals in society. The idea of public opinion has roots in Western political thought that go back to the eighteenth century, although related ideas go ...

public opinion

public opinion   Reference library

The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002

... opinion views prevalent among the general public: shaping public opinion...

public opinion

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Sean D. Carey

A Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
271 words

...of public opinion. Based on the laws of probability sampling, opinion polls enabled a measurement of public opinion that represented the population. This view of public opinion was espoused by George Gallup who suggested that public opinion was the average opinion that could be measured by summing up the opinions of every individual in society to form an aggregate opinion. Polling enabled public opinion to be measured relatively accurately and continuously, but not without reservations. V. O. Key summed up the difficulty in accurately measuring public...

Public Opinion

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A Dictionary of Opera Characters (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Music, Opera, Performing arts
Length:
47 words

... Opinion ( Opinion Publique ) ( Offenbach : Orpheus in the Underworld ). Mez. Introduces the opera and insists that Orpheus descends to the underworld to rescue Eurydice. Is not happy with the outcome whereby Eurydice goes off with Jupiter. Created ( 1858 ) by Marguerite Macé...

Public Opinion

Public Opinion   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
996 words

...the myth of “the rational public” may be exploited by governments to exert political control and maintain power. But whether public opinion influences government or whether the latter controls the former, public consensus or compliance is necessary for effective governance. In such a context public opinion has visible influences. It provides legitimacy or serves as a legitimizing symbol. At times of democratic elections, the influences on public opinion described above are reflected in electoral outcomes; in this way public opinion provides a mechanism for...

Public Opinion

Public Opinion   Reference library

Robert Y. Shapiro

The Oxford Companion to International Relations

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
995 words

...the myth of “the rational public” may be exploited by governments to exert political control and maintain power. But whether public opinion influences government or whether the latter controls the former, public consensus or compliance is necessary for effective governance. In such a context, public opinion has visible influences. It provides legitimacy or serves as a legitimizing symbol. During democratic elections, the influences on public opinion described above are reflected in electoral outcomes; in this way public opinion provides a mechanism for...

Public Opinion

Public Opinion   Reference library

Robert Y. Shapiro

The Oxford Companion to Comparative Politics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
996 words

...the myth of “the rational public” may be exploited by governments to exert political control and maintain power. But whether public opinion influences government or whether the latter controls the former, public consensus or compliance is necessary for effective governance. In such a context, public opinion has visible influences. It provides legitimacy or serves as a legitimizing symbol. During democratic elections, the influences on public opinion described above are reflected in electoral outcomes; in this way public opinion provides a mechanism for...

Public Opinion

Public Opinion   Reference library

Robert Y. Shapiro

The Oxford Companion to American Politics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012

...the myth of “the rational public” may be exploited by governments to exert political control and maintain power. But whether public opinion influences government or whether the latter controls the former, public consensus or compliance is necessary for effective governance. In such a context, public opinion has visible influences. It provides legitimacy or serves as a legitimizing symbol. During democratic elections, the influences on public opinion described above are reflected in electoral outcomes; in this way public opinion provides a mechanism for...

public opinion

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A Dictionary of Journalism

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Media studies
Length:
70 words

...public opinion The views of citizens as measured by polls and less rigorous methods such as readers’ letters , voxpops , Your Comments , and Twitter . Public opinion may be drawn on by news organizations to help inform their selection decisions and editorial positions, and shifts of public opinion may be used as the basis for stories in their own right. See also 90-9-1 rule ; public sphere...

public opinion

public opinion   Reference library

Dictionary of the Social Sciences

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Social sciences
Length:
681 words

... of participants became necessary to effective action. Both contexts informed theories of political liberalism and related concepts of the public sphere, which conceive public opinion as emerging out of free debate in a “marketplace” of ideas, and therefore as, at least potentially, a form of rational consensus ( see public sphere and private sphere ). The dominant eighteenth-century usage emphasized open expression and debate, contrasting free public opinion to absolutist repression. At the same time, it generally treated public opinion as a consensus...

public opinion

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A Dictionary of Media and Communication (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Media studies
Length:
240 words

...theory ; encoding–decoding model ; receiver selectivity ; see also J-curve ; two-step flow ). Despite popular usage, public opinion does not reflect a general consensus. In democratic societies there are multiple opinions and publics . On any controversial issue, public opinion is divided between several alternative and inconsistent viewpoints. http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=6456 Public Opinion : Walter Lippmann ...

Public Opinion

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Erik W. Austin

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Political and Legal History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics, Law, History of Law
Length:
548 words

...Americans have expressed their opinions on policy issues and political actions, while leaders have sought to know the popular will. Scholars have had a harder time agreeing on a definition of public opinion, however, with both of the terms “public” (or “the public”) and “opinion” stirring debate. Contemporary scholars appear to be comfortable defining public opinion as “the aggregated views of large numbers of people in a society on issues central to how that society functions.” Methods for determining public opinion have varied throughout American...

Public Opinion

Public Opinion   Reference library

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
History, Contemporary History (post 1945)
Length:
1,111 words

... Opinion . Public opinion is a nebulous concept, which means that its history is also complex. Little effort has attempted to identify public opinion before 1750 , on the assumption that for the most part it was highly localized. Among the scholarship that has been devoted to public opinion as a feature of modern societies, the work of Jürgen Habermas ( b. 1929 ) is particularly important. Public opinion depends on several component characteristics. It obviously reflects a belief by some members of society, who may claim to represent society as a whole,...

Public Opinion

Public Opinion   Reference library

Erik W. Austin

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...Americans have expressed their opinions on policy issues and political actions, whereas leaders have sought to know the popular will. Scholars have had a harder time agreeing on a definition of public opinion, however, with both the terms “public” (or “the public”) and “opinion” stirring debate. Contemporary scholars appear to be comfortable defining public opinion as “the aggregated views of large numbers of people in a society on issues central to how that society functions.” Methods for determining “public opinion” have varied throughout American...

Public Opinion.

Public Opinion.   Reference library

Erik W. Austin

The Oxford Companion to United States History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
537 words

...Americans have expressed their opinions on policy issues and political actions, while leaders have sought to know the popular will. Scholars have had a harder time agreeing on a definition of public opinion. However, with both the terms “public” (or “the public”) and “opinion” stirring debate. Contemporary scholars appear to be comfortable defining public opinion as “the aggregated views of large numbers of people in a society on issues central to how that society functions.” Methods for determining “public opinion” have varied throughout American...

Public Opinion

Public Opinion   Reference library

James L. Gibson and William G. Ross

The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Law
Length:
1,839 words

...have tried to understand public opinion more than Eighth Amendment death‐penalty litigation. To the extent that the Court recognizes an important role for public opinion, there will probably be at least some degree of congruence between what the public wants and what it gets in Court decisions ( see Capital Punishment ). There are, however, important areas of the law, such as school prayer, in which the Court has resisted even stable and strong public opinion ( see School Prayer and Bible Reading ). To the extent that public opinion takes on the tint of...

public opinion

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A Dictionary of Sociology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
114 words

... opinion An ill-defined concept, used in many ways, but perhaps most generally it refers to the approval or disapproval of publicly observable positions and behaviour, as expressed by a defined section of a society, and (usually) measured through opinion polls . Consequently, it is often taken to be synonymous with ‘what the polls report’—about morality, favoured consumer brands, politics, or whatever. The two groups most commonly surveyed under this label are adults of working age (variously defined as people aged 16, 18, or 20 to 60 or 65 years), and all...

Public opinion

Public opinion   Reference library

Oxford Companion to Australian Politics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
3,303 words

... opinion In Australia historians have never found much use for ‘public opinion’; in books on social or political history the term rarely appears. E. T. Brown 's insistence, in The Sovereign People ( 1954 ), that a ‘rational science of government must concern itself, above and before everything else’ with ‘the formation of public opinion’ has attracted little support even among political scientists. Though interest in measuring public opinion has quickened in Australia since the 1970s interest in its rationality, its grasp of the world, and its worth...

public opinion

public opinion   Reference library

The Oxford Guide to the United States Government

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
1,429 words

...scientists of 56 public issues showed that on only a few did Presidents sway public opinion, and then only when they were popular; otherwise, their efforts often made things worse. At best, Presidents draw attention to problems and get the media and the public to focus on them. Sometimes they do so by their speeches and messages and sometimes by making decisions that set events in motion. But rarely do they persuade the American public; more likely, they activate opinions that already were present. Presidents who have high public approval ratings are...

Public opinion

Public opinion   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Law
Length:
1,173 words

...of whether the Court is influenced by or responds to public opinion cannot wholly be separated from the equally intriguing question of whether the Court itself influences public opinion—as the US Supreme Court is sometimes said to do, for example in its landmark decision in Brown v Board of Education ( 1954 ) that racial segregation was unconstitutional. If it is ever possible to say that the Court has influenced public opinion, it is likely to be in conjunction with a response to public opinion; the two phenomena are likely to be intertwined rather than...

Polls, public opinion

Polls, public opinion   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Australian History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
903 words

...public opinion commissioned by the media to sample systematically the views of particular populations, first appeared in Australia in the early 1940s. Since then they have played an increasingly prominent part in Australian political life. The first regular poll, Australian Public Opinion Polls (the Gallup method), was established by the Herald & Weekly Times in July 1941 . In 1940 , the director of APOP, Roy Morgan , had been sent by Sir Keith Murdoch to the USA to learn the art of polling from George Gallup . The poll's findings were published by...

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