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Researching the Public Opinion Environment
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Researching the Public Opinion Environment
Theories and Methods



June 2000 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Researching the Public Opinion Environment informs the reader on the rationale, purposes, theories, and methodologies involved in researching the public. The book is divided into four parts. Part One looks at the theories and systems relevant to opinion research. Part Two addresses the topics of monitoring and analyzing the media. Part Three describes the basics of survey research, focus groups, Delphi techniques, stakeholder assemblies and Q methodology. Part Four looks at the impact of the media.
 
PART ONE: THEORY AND SYSTEMS
 
Role of Public Opinion in Democratic Societies
 
Establishing Intelligence Systems to Capture Public Opinion
 
PART TWO: MONITORING AND ANALYZING THE MEDIA
 
Monitoring the Media
Asking Questions

 
 
Content Analysis Techniques
 
PART THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES
 
Survey Design and Sampling
 
Survey Development
 
Survey Administration
 
Focus Groups, Delphi Techniques, Stakeholder Assemblies and Q Methodology
 
PART FOUR: THEORIES ON IMPACT OF THE MEDIA
 
Academic Debate over Media Effects
The Effects Continuum

 

“Ferguson’s book is an interesting mix of theoretical and methodical themes related to the use of public opinion research in organizations. . . . The central focus seems to be to acquaint the reader with the most important theoretical and research technical aspects of public opinion research. . . . The book provides professional communication workers and students from business schools a simple introduction to issues of public opinion research.”

Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research

This book is absolutely amazing. It has everything one needs for both conducting research on public opinion, and teaching research methods. I am particularly thrilled with the media research section because I have lots of students conducting research on media framing, and I have no doubts they will be thrilled for having this book.

Dr Martina Topic
Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University
June 16, 2015

I am particularly interested in Delphi Technique and Q Methodology. I had read a review that suggested this book might be more about these topics than it turned out to be. One problem with these methods is the lack of academic critique they have received. I was hoping to find a text that would discuss how such social science methods are developed and critiqued (theory rather than mere practice thereof), which would serve as useful background for students using or developing "responsive" or "on-the-ground" methods themselves. Unfortunately this wasn't the book (no fault of the author!).

Professor Michael Biggs
School of Creative Arts, University of Hertfordshire
December 19, 2013

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