In this work, Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann examines public opinion as a form of social control in which individuals, almost instinctively sensing the opinions of those around them, shape their behaviour to prevailing attitudes about what is acceptable. For the second edition, Noelle-Neumann has added three new chapters: the first discusses new discoveries in the history of public opinion; the second continues the author's efforts to construct a comprehensive theory of public opinion, addressing criticisms and defences of her "spiral of silence" theory that have appeared since 1980; the third offers a concise and updated summary of the book's arguments.
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Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann is founder and director of the Public Opinion Research Center in Allensbach, Germany, and professor of communications research at the University of Mainz.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
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