FAMNIT - Faculty of Mathematics, Science and Information Technologies
FHŠ - Faculty of Humanities
FM - Faculty of Management
FTŠ Turistica - Turistica – College of Tourism Portorož
FVZ - Faculty of Health Sciences
IAM - Andrej Marušič Institute
PEF - Faculty of Education
UPR - University of Primorska
ZRS - Science and Research Centre
Fakulteta za humanistične študije, Koper
Fakulteta za management Koper in Pedagoška fakulteta Koper
Fakulteta za vede o zdravju, Izola
Knjižnica za tehniko, medicino in naravoslovje, Koper
Znanstveno-raziskovalno središče Koper
O zgodovinskih sporih in preobratih v teorijah javnega mnenja
1.01 - Original Scientific Article
FHŠ - Faculty of Humanities
This paper discusses the conceptual heterogeneity in the field of 'public opinion' in the light of a distinction between positions that reflect public opinion as a democratic-emancipatory category and positions that consider public opinion from an 'anthropological' perspective - as an semi-institutional resource of social control. The paper discusses the main characteristics and implications of these two different perspectives in conceptualizing public opinion, primarily the questions of the differences between publicly expressed opinions and public opinion, subject/ivity of public opinion (public opinions vs. opinion of the public), and the controversial relation of public opinion to democracy and surveillance. The argument is made that in the two centuries following Bentham's and Kant's codification of the principle of publicity, none of the fundamental controversies has been resolved. Although the belief that the establishment of a public opinion polling industry homogenized and stablized the definition of public opinion is widely accepted by pollsters, the facts rather prove the contrary: despite the enormous quantities of money and attention devoted to public opinion polling, there are few theoretical perspectives to guide research on the role of public opinion in the political process, which is primarily a consequence of the fact that consistent and operationally valid definitions of the concept 'public opinion' are still missing. There are no signs of 'reconciliation' between normative-theoretical and empirical-statistical perspectives; on the contrary, it seems that Wilson was right when 45 years ago he stated that the differences between those who 'believe in scientific study alone' and those who see in the study of public opinion a possibility of advancement of rational and humane goals can hardly disappear
Year of publishing:
Centro di ricerche scientifiche della Repubblica di Slovenia
Number of pages:
Letn. 17, št. 2
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