Value War

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In Value War: Public Opinion and the Politics of Gay Rights, Paul R. Brewer looks at how the public debate about gay rights has shaped public opinion and conversely how public opinion has shaped the public debate about gay rights. Using a variety of methods, including polls, experimentation, and content analysis, he shows how the nature of public debate—which encompasses news stories, television sitcoms, presidential speeches, and sermons by local clergy—has influenced what and how Americans think about gay rights. He also shows how public opinion has created opportunities and obstacles for foes and advocates of gay rights by defining the very terms and boundaries of the public debate. Brewer's analysis not only sheds new light on how the politics of gay rights has evolved in recent years and may evolve in the future, it also illuminates the broader tensions in American politics, from the culture war over social issues to the struggle over civil rights.

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Editorial Reviews

Ken Sherrill
Brewer's book is the best book written to date on the subject of public opinion and gay rights. Brewer combines sophisticated social research methods with a strong nose for politics. He situates his work nicely both in the enduring issues of American politics and in the unique characteristics of comemporary American politics. Written in a lucid and engaging style, this is a book that should appeal to a wide audience of readers. I think, for example, that it would fit very nicely into an undergraduate public opinion course as well as being of interest to academic specialists in the field.
Susan Gluck Mezey
This is an engaging book about an important topic in U.S. politics. In a clear and cogent manner, Paul Brewer discusses the interactive effect between public opinion and gay rights policymaking. Using a variety of data, including public opinion surveys, content analysis of media messages, and experimental design, he effectively accomplishes his task of showing that public opinion plays an important role in influencing the formulation of gay rights policies and that public debate helps determine the parameters of public opinion on gay rights.
November 2008 CHOICE
Recommended. All levels / libraries.
Winter 2010 Political Communication
In Value War, Paul Brewer brings together and extends the themes, data, and analysis from several of his published journal articles to create a book that is certainly more than the simple sum of its parts.

Brewer's accessible text offers an excellent case study of public opinion, but it also provides a framework for examining the role of the media and political elites in public debates over issues like immigration, health care reform, stem cell reserach, or climate change.

Pat Egan
This book takes on the long overdue task of carefully documenting and explaining the change in American public opinion on gay rights over the past thirty years. It will help readers better understand the nation's remarkable shift toward acceptance of homosexuality and the emerging sense among Americans that gays and lesbians deserve equal rights.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742562103
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul R. Brewer is associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin —Milwaukee.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 1. Introduction Chapter 2 2. Public Opinion about Gay Rights Chapter 3 3. Whose Rights? Public Opinion about Gays, Lesbians, and Homosexuality Chapter 4 4. From the Podium and the Pulpit: Opinion Leadership and Gay Rights Chapter 5 5. Using Values to Frame Gay Rights: Traditional Morals, Equal Rights, or Special Rights? Chapter 6 6. The Foundations of Opinion about Gay Rights: Changes over Time, Differences across Contexts Chapter 7 7. The Meanings of Public Opinion about Gay Rights Chapter 8 Appendix A: The Pooled 2003-2004 Pew Research Center Surveys Chapter 9 Appendix B: The 1993 ANES Pilot Study and the 2003 October Pew Survey Chapter 10 Appendix C: Content Analysis Procedure Chapter 11 Appendix D: The 1999 Experiment Chapter 12 Appendix E: The 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 American National Election Studies Chapter 13 Bibliography Chapter 14 Index

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