Public opinion theory and research are becoming increasingly significant in modern societies as people's attitudes and behaviors become ever more volatile and opinion poll data becomes ever more readily available. This major new Handbook is the first to bring together into one volume the whole field of public opinion theory, research methodology, and the political and social embeddedness of polls in modern societies. It comprehensively maps out the state-of-the-art in contemporary scholarship on these topics.

With over fifty chapters written by distinguished international researchers, both academic and from the commercial sector, this Handbook is designed to:

Give the reader an overview of the most important concepts included in and surrounding the term ‘public opinion’ and its application in modern social research; Present the basic empirical concepts for assessing public opinion and opinion changes in society; Provide an overview of the social, political and legal status of public opinion research, how it is perceived by the public and by journalists, and how it is used by governments; Offer a review of the role and use of surveys for selected special fields of application, ranging from their use in legal cases to the use of polls in marketing and campaigns.

The SAGE Handbook of Public Opinion Research provides an indispensable resource for both practitioners and students alike.

Different Survey Modes and International Comparisons

Yang-chihFu andYun-hanChu

As more research projects rely on cross-national surveys to collect comparative data, researchers must be innovative and flexible when choosing the appropriate survey modes to fit local conditions. This complicates research designs and requires thoughtful plans and strategies. This chapter discusses how researchers might accommodate specific social and cultural settings when designing sampling schemes, constructing proper questionnaires, and selecting modes of data collection. Due consideration of differences in cultural and social context helps researchers to stay clear of many common pitfalls in cross-national surveys and buttresses the internal validity of their research designs. When differences in cross-cultural comparisons are found, they can be confident that these findings result from actual differences rather than methodological flaws. When similar empirical ...

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