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- DescriptionSince so few people appear kwledgeable about public affairs, one might question whether collective policy preferences revealed in opinion surveys accurately convey the distribution of voices and interests in a society. This study, the first comprehensive treatment of the relationship between kwledge, representation, and political equality in opinion surveys, suggests some surprising answers. Kwledge does matter, and the way it is distributed in society can cause collective preferences to reflect disproportionately the opinions of some groups more than others. Sometimes collective preferences seem to represent something like the will of the people, but frequently they do t. Sometimes they rigidly enforce political equality in the expression of political viewpoints, but often they do t. The primary culprit is t any inherent shortcoming in the methods of survey research. Rather, it is the limited degree of kwledge held by ordinary citizens about public affairs. Accounting for these factors can help better appreciate thepossibilities for using opinion polls to represent the people's voice.
- PrizesWinner of David Easton Prize 2004 and Goldsmith Book Prize 2004.
- Author(s)Scott L. Althaus
- PublisherCambridge University Press
- Date of Publication08/09/2003
- SubjectPolitics: General & Reference
- Place of PublicationCambridge
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintCambridge University Press
- Content Note22 b/w illus. 25 tables
- Weight570 g
- Width152 mm
- Height228 mm
- Spine22 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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