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La opinión pública y los imaginarios sociales: hacia una redefinición de la espiral del silencio

Public opinion and social imaginary: towards a redefinition of the 'spiral of silence'
[journal article]

Dittus, Rubén

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-64535

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Abstract This article critically examines the 'spiral of silence' theory of public opinion. I examine the claims that humans possess a biological desire for peer acceptance & a fear of peer rejection, & I argue that both these claims have an essentialist connotation. I argue that an individual's 'social self-protection', which allegedly reflects the so-called fear of isolation, is better understood as an institutional reaction sustained by the mass media (which acts as the symbolic re-creator of reality), & by the emotions (which act as devices of social control). In other words, I argue that public opinion is merely a social imaginary, like the emotions or the news, elevated to the category of institution. Finally, I argue that this legitimation has been facilitated by a hegemonic discourse.
Classification Sociology of Communication, Sociology of Language, Sociolinguistics; Social Psychology
Free Keywords Public Opinion; Social Acceptance; Peer Influence; Rejection; Social Isolation; Social Control; Discourse; Emotions; Hegemony; Essentialism
Document language Spanish
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 61-76
Journal Athenea Digital: Revista de Pensamiento e Investigacion Social (2005) 7
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications