Ferdinand Tonnies on Public Opinion: Selections and Analyses

Overview

This book presents, for the first time in English, selections from Ferdinand Tönnies' classic "Kritik der öffentlichen Meinung (Critique of Public Opinion)." Communication scholars Hanno Hardt and Slavko Splichal give a brief history of public opinion and provide the translation and original analyses of Tönnies' work, situating it theoretically and historically. Featuring an introduction by Gary T. Marx, this book highlights Tönnies' valuable contributions to past and current ...
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Overview

This book presents, for the first time in English, selections from Ferdinand Tönnies' classic "Kritik der öffentlichen Meinung (Critique of Public Opinion)." Communication scholars Hanno Hardt and Slavko Splichal give a brief history of public opinion and provide the translation and original analyses of Tönnies' work, situating it theoretically and historically. Featuring an introduction by Gary T. Marx, this book highlights Tönnies' valuable contributions to past and current theories of society, communication, and public opinion.

Author Biography: Hanno Hardt is John F. Murray Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication and professor of communication studies at the University of Iowa and professor of communication at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Slavko Splichal is professor of mass communications and public opinion at the University of Ljubjana and director of the European Institute for Communication and Culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Critical Sociology
This book should be warmly welcomed by scholars with an interest in critical social theory and public opinion. The authors are probably the best experts on the vast literature concerning public opinion and related topics. The present book, which accompanies Tönnies' multilayered and inventive approach to public opinion with thoroughly informed and critical analyses, offeres remarkably rich and thought-provoking material. The authors should be especially credited for bringing it back to light and amidst contemporary concerns with public opinion and social theory in general.
Craig Calhoun
Tönnies’ prominence in the social science canon has faded in recent years; publication of this translation should rekindle interest. Tönnies’ little known exploration of public opinion was innovative and informed by themes of great concern today—cultural performance, power, and diversity. In addition, it reveals an interesting critical dimension to Tönnies’ sociology.
James Curran
A key introduction to one of the founding fathers of the sociology of mass communication, [this book] is well translated, edited, and illuminated by critical commentary.
From The Foreword - Gary T. Marx
Hanno Hardt and Slavko Splichal have performed a useful service for students of the history of social thought, modernization, communication, public opinion, and critical media studies by making this work available in English, contextually locating it and adding fuller bibliographic references. . . . [Tönnies is] a pleasure to read.
Bryan S. Turner
An outstanding contribution to the development of the sociology of mass media, Ferdinand Tönnies’ normative and critical theory of public opinion was a formative moment in the creation of communications as an object of inquiry. The translation of Kritik der öffentlichen Meinung is a major publishing event. Understanding Tönnies is an essential intellectual preparation for interpreting the modern media.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742501683
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2000
  • Series: Critical Media Studies Series
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Hanno Hardt is John F. Murray Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication and professor of communication studies at the University of Iowa and professor of communication at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Slavko Splichal is professor of mass communications and public opinion at the University of Ljubjana and director of the European Institute for Communication and Culture.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword 1
Pt. I Introduction and Analyses
Defining Public Opinion in History 11
Tonnies, Public Opinion, and the Public Sphere 49
Pt. II Selections from Kritik der offentlichen Meinung
Introduction to the Translation 113
1 Opining and Opinion, Common Opinions 117
2 Public Opinion 125
3 Public Opinion and "the" Public Opinion 133
4 "The" Public Opinion and Its Characteristics 177
5 Power As a Factor of "the" Public Opinion 193
6 "The" Public Opinion As a Political Factor in the Life of the State 195
7 The Future of "the" Public Opinion 201
8 Notes and References Kritik der offentlichen Meinung 207
Index 211
About the Editors 223
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