Public opinion and opinion polls | Article about public opinion and opinion polls by The Free Dictionary
public opinion and opinion polls
public opinion and opinion polls expressions of attitudes on political issues or current affairs by members of the general public. Since the advent of opinion polls, introduced by George GALLUP, the term has referred especially to statements of opinion collected in sample surveys. Compare MASS OBSERVATION. As pointed out by HABERMAS (1962), public opinion has a different meaning depending on whether it:
- is brought into play on the assumption that political and social power must be subject to public discourse; or
- is merely a construct to be manipulated in the service of government or powerful institutions. Habermas's concern is that in modern societies the critical content of ‘public opinion’ is often diluted. see also PUBLIC SPHERE.