1 Public opinion as a subject of sociological knowledge
2 Public Opinion Research in the United States: Gallup, Harris, and others
3 Study of public opinion in France and Germany
List of sources used
Public opinion is one of the phenomena that are very difficult to fully analyze and strictly define. Therefore, there are many points of view on the problem of its definition. Public opinion depends on the society in which it is formed and developed, on the principles of this society, on cultural values and the degree of democratization of the social system.
The study of public opinion is a very relevant problem, since public opinion is a kind of regulator of the processes that occur in society.
1. Public opinion as a subject of sociological knowledge
Sociology of public opinion is a branch of sociological knowledge, the subject of which is the study of the structure, patterns, channels, mechanisms of formation and functioning of societies, opinions. Public opinion is the attitude of large social groups to actual problems of reality that are of public interest. Opinion is usually distinguished from concepts, attitudes, values, beliefs, stereotypes, and social feelings. Public opinion is less stable, easier to change, it is a measurable parameter in a mass survey or other type of research, while attitudes and values are latent variables. In contrast to public feelings, public opinion is an intellectual product, based on a certain amount of studied factual evidence and involving a certain degree of reflection, analysis and rational reflection.
The object of public opinion always has the characteristic of high discussion in society and relatively high social significance. Public opinion is formed on issues of public interest, and arises only when any public interest for objective reasons or due to subjective factors becomes the center of people's attention, acquires a high degree of actualization. The high level of discussion of the object of public opinion is due to the fact that public opinion arises in connection with the divergence of views of people on the issue of interest. Depending on the complexity of the internal structure and organization of objects of public opinion, opinions about facts, opinions about events, opinions about phenomena and processes are distinguished.
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