Public Opinion
Public Opinion
Is political polarization on the rise? Do various “populist” movements have anything in common? Is the opposition between left and right becoming obsolete and, if so, what might replace it?

Many of the most pressing questions about contemporary politics involve public opinion. This incisive sociological introduction considers the formation of opinions as not just a matter of individual responses to external conditions, but as a social process in which people influence and are in turn influenced by others. David L. Weakliem illustrates how changes in economic and social conditions affect public opinion and how the distribution of opinions is shaped by the structure of interaction among people. He applies this approach to discuss topics such as political polarization, long-term trends in public opinion, and the prospects for democracy.

Combining theory with up-to-date information on public opinion, the book will be of interest to researchers and students alike in sociology, political science, and communication studies.
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  • August 2020
  • 200 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509529469
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509529476
  • Open eBook $22.95
  • 9781509529490
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. What is public opinion?
Chapter 2. The Social Bases of Public Opinion
Chapter 3. Ideology
Chapter 4. Short-Term Change in Public Opinion
Chapter 5. Long-Term Change in Public Opinion
Chapter 6. Public opinion and liberal democracy
About the Author
David L. Weakliem is Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut.
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