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.

Identifying Value Clusters in Societies

Hans L.Zetterberg

Values are generalized, relatively enduring and consistent priorities for how we want to live. Values belong in the ‘vocabulary of motives’ (Mills, 1940), not in the realm of instincts and biological needs. Values reveal mankind's aspirations. Needs reveal any creature's wants. Both values and needs answer the question of why we act as we do. Lifestyles are bundles of practices centered on some need and/or value. Lifestyles answer the question of what we persistently enjoy doing. One and the same value can be expressed by different lifestyles and in different opinions.

Social scientists are primarily interested in values that are shared by many, that is, collective values. There is reason, however, to study also idiosyncratic values, as when social research ...

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