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.

Archiving Poll Data

WolfgangJagodzinski andMeinhardMoschner

In contrast to other disciplines, the social sciences have only gradually become fully aware of the importance of a functioning infrastructure that offers support for the whole research process, beginning with the development of a research design, pretesting and sampling, and ending with the archiving of data for extended or secondary data analysis. With the availability of data sets on the Internet in combination with several advanced data retrieval and on-line analysis systems like NESSTAR, Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA), the Virtual Data Center (VDC), or developments like the CESSDA data portal, the infrastructural services have markedly improved. Data are nowadays accessible not only to the national scientific community, but also on a global level.

The new era has not only facilitated ...

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