Thursday August 30, 2012 Philosophy 3841
Polls and surveys pretty much the same thing. Polls is usually used in regards to politics
Basic idea is to ask people questions to gauge public opinion
Goal: get a representative sample of the population.
1. Journalists are complicated cannot get an objective of what the reality is. The
news is always selective and picks out what parts and why was it approached
that way and perhaps ask is there a better way to do things.
2. Objectivity appeared around 1900
Tuesday September 17, 2012
Important groups for opinion
Stereotyping to a certain extent. This is more tendencies of a certain group
Black/white difference is big one. Hispanic and Asian differences are less
important. Ethnicity like
November 1, 2012 mass media
The rise of mass audiences
Change in writing style, subjects of stories- technology increases brought more
possibilities to the news papers
Growth of advertising sources- as the size of the market increased, so did
October 6 2012
Increasing important of experts
Growth of scientific/technical knowledge- it takes a lot to be informed so
experts are required to put a lot of effort into knowing their field.
Growing scope of government- since the govern
October 9, 2012. Test next Thursday. Dont suck.
Does Public opinion matter?
How you can find out
Places differ in average opinion (ex. Northeast is more liberal)
Do representatives from more liberal places have more liberal voting
October 11, 2012
Know the positions of political ideas for liberals, moderates, and conservatives
on topics like gun control, abortion
Theory of ideological convergence.
Since parties compete for votes. In order to get votes they n
Tuesday September 4, 2012
Accuracy of surveys
Comparison to election results- some systematic discrepancies
Mostly very accurate. One time big discrepancy in 1948 with Trumans election when
other candidate looked to be leading big in the polls
Thursday September 6, 2012
Change in opinion
Macro change in population, not in an individual, although individual change brings
about change in the macro group.
Macro changes are very gradual, never all of a sudden
Sources of change
Thursday 19 September 2012
Group differences two
Stability and change
Forces producing stability
Why changes occur
Changing social conditions- can affect different peoples values. Ex.
Immigrants are usually poor and support social services. Shifts in
Knowledge and Democracy September 27
Influcences on political knowledge
Age (generation?)- older people know more. More experience and less things to
be preoccupied with. Interest with politics grows with age. Biggest influence
along with education.
November 8, 2012 Media Bias. Extra credit due next Thursday
How much political bias do you see in the news?
In general, do you think news coverage has more of a liberal bias or more of a
52% say a lot, 30% say som
October 18 2012
How does democracy survive
Popular support for democratic values in the world
Survery evidence- most everyone supports democracy
How does democracy survive?
Democratic elitism- political and legal elites (elected officials, judges,
SOCIOLOGY 3841, Public Opinion and Mass Communication
Review for Final Exam
Note: dates of topics are as given on the syllabus
Mar 8-10 The News Media
Features of American newspapers
News papers been around since America has been around
Spread of tv was