Public Opinion, the Media, and Social Issues

Patrick J. Egan

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

Public Opinion, the Media, and Social Issues

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  • Politics
  • US Politics
  • Political Behaviour



This chapter studies the characteristics that social issues have in common, as well as their implications for public opinion, and then takes a look at empirical efforts, in order to define the set of political debates that should be called social issues. The next section discusses the broad trends in opinion on social issues and considers how much media coverage of these issues has changed along with public opinion. It also discusses the three explanations for the sources of attitudes on social issues, their strengths, and the extent to which they suggest the etiology of public opinion on social issues is unusual.

Keywords: social issues; empirical efforts; political debates; trends in opinion; media coverage; public opinion; sources of attitudes; etiology

Article.  7263 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Behaviour

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