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.

Advocacy: Alternative Expressions of Public Opinion

KurtLang and Gladys EngelLang

Citizens have multiple ways of making themselves heard on matters of general concern, most directly when they vote and when they respond to public opinion polls. These are not their only options. They can also sign petitions, join in letter-writing campaigns, stage rallies, parade, celebrate, strike, boycott, engage in civil disobedience, even commit violence, or become otherwise involved in ‘social movement’ activity. Most likely to turn to such alternatives are those to whom more routinely available means for expressing their opinions appear less than fully effective. Such alternative expressions can also contradict what electoral results and polls suggest about the state of public opinion.

We refer to these forms of collective behavior as ‘advocacy’ rather than ‘protest’ ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles