The field of public opinion is one of the most diverse in political science. Over the last 60 years, scholars have drawn upon the disciplines of psychology, economics, sociology, and even biology to learn how ordinary people come to understand the complicated business of politics. But much of the path-breaking research in the field of public opinion is published in journals, taking up fairly narrow questions one at a time and often requiring advanced statistical knowledge to understand these findings. As a result, the study of public opinion can seem confusing and incoherent to undergraduates. To engage undergraduate students in this area, a new type of textbook is required.
The second edition of New Directions in Public Opinion brings together leading scholars to provide an accessible and coherent overview of the current state of the field of public opinion. Each chapter provides a general overview of topics that are at the cutting edge of study as well as well-established cornerstones of the field. Each contributor has made substantive revisions to their chapters, and three chapters have been added on genetics and biology, immigration, and political extremism and the Tea Party. Suitable for use as a main textbook or in tandem with a lengthier survey, this book comprehensively covers the topics of public opinion research and pushes students further to explore critical topics in contemporary politics.
Adam J. Berinsky is Professor of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and director of the MIT Political Experiments Research Lab. He is the author of In Time of War: Understanding Public Opinion from World War II to Iraq (Chicago) and Silent Voices: Opinion Polls and Political Participation in America (Princeton). He has received numerous awards for his research.
Introduction and Overview Adam Berinsky Part I: The Meaning and Measurement of Public Opinion 1. History and the Meaning of Public Opinion Susan Herbst 2. The Practice of Survey Research: Changes and Challenges D. Sunshine Hillygus 3. Two-thirds full? Citizen Competence and Democratic Governance Martin Gilens Part II Foundations of Political Preferences 4. The Structure, Foundations, and Expression of Ideology Christopher Federico 5. Race, Ethnicity, and the Group Bases of Public Opinion Jane Junn, Tali Mendelberg, and Erica Czaja 6. The Politics of Gender Nancy Burns, Donald Kinder, Ashley Jardina and Molly Reynolds 7. Partisanship and Polarization in Contemporary Politics Marc Hetherington 8. Personality and Public Opinion Jeffery Mondak and Matthew Hibbing 9. No Longer "Beyond our Scope" :The Biological and Non-Conscious Underpinnings of Public Opinion Frank Gonzalez, John Hibbing and Kevin Smith 10. The Emotional Foundations of Democratic Citizenship Ted Brader 11. A Jump to the Right, A Step to the Left: Religion and Public Opinion David E. Campbell and Geoffrey C. Layman Part III: The Public and Society 12. Campaigns and Elections John Sides 13. Ambivalence in American Public Opinion about Immigration Deborah Schildkraut 14. Public Opinion and Reactionary Movements: From the Klan to the Tea Party Politics Matt Barreto and Christopher Parker 15. Media, Public Opinion, and Presidential Leadership Matt Baum 16. Public Opinion and Public Policy Andrea Louise Campbell and Elizabeth Rigby 17. Conclusion David Sears