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.

Marketing Research


What exactly is marketing (or market) research? In what ways is it the same as or different than opinion polling? Chuck Chakrapani (2000, pp. 4ff.) wrote that: ‘Traditionally, marketing research has been considered a discipline that primarily uses scientific methods to collect, analyze, and interpret data relevant to marketing of goods and services.’ But he went on to say that:

The acceptance of this definition has prevented marketing researchers from being meaningful partners in the decision-making process. The practice and goal of marketing research should not be just to provide ‘input’ to decision makers but to gather data and interpret them in light of what is already known and to be a part of the decision-making process. To have continued relevance to management and ...

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