Giorgio Grossi

Public Opinion and Political Communication: The Social Linkage Revisited

  • Abstract

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At the beginning of the complete achievement of mass society (during the Forties and the Fifties) public opinion and political communication were strictly interconnected. Later on, the empirical study of opinions trends was separated from the analysis of mediated communication (especially television), and in this way we have lost the social link between public discourse, collective interaction and individual attitudes. In the last thirty years this linkage has been reconstructed, and today we must confront with new forms of political relationship (mediated politics, mediated publicness, permanent campaigning) which can be defi ned as "audience democracy". In this paper this link is revisited - especially with reference to Italian case - and is focused on the idea of "opinion climate" as conceptual device able to explain new trends in Italian political life (and general elections).

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