Democracy and the Concept of Public Opinion

John G. Gunnell

in The Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199545636
Published online September 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

Democracy and the Concept of Public Opinion

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  • Political Behaviour



This chapter is concerned with the intellectual history of how the term ‘public opinion’ entered into the discourse of political and social science during the nineteenth century, studying how the concept it referred to was basically changed during the early years of the twentieth century. It notes that public opinion came from the origins of the American vision of democracy and identifies the changes which the term ‘public opinion’ went through over the years.

Keywords: public opinion; intellectual history; democracy; political science; social science

Article.  7376 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Behaviour

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