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How Should We Conceive Public Opinion if Bourdieu Asserts that Public Opinion Does not Exist - Article Example

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"How Should We Conceive Public Opinion if Bourdieu Asserts that Public Opinion Does Not Exist" paper argues that there are problems in the society that requires the presence of public opinion. No one can ignore the presence of public opinion. No theory can disprove the presence of public opinion. …
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How Should We Conceive Public Opinion if Bourdieu Asserts that Public Opinion Does not Exist
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Download file to see previous pages The act of producing a response to a questionnaire on politics, like voting is a particular case of a supply meeting a demand (Bourdieu, 1984, p. 399). Thus Bourdieu asserts that public opinion does not exist.

Some people are of the opinion that Public opinion research, in particular, does nothing but reproduce the biases of pollsters. They say that opinions do not exist independently of the apparatus designed to measure them: i.e., survey questions, and the professional or ideological interests of pollsters. They never agree to the fact that public opinion does exist. They are of the opinion that modern public opinion is something of a fiction (Bourdieu, 1984, p. 399). They say that it is needed to legitimate the power of governments, but it cannot be accurately described or analyzed. They opine that public opinion does not really exist and it is just a simple notion. According to them, the various approaches to public opinion seem to be flawed (Bourdieu, 1984, p. 399). The theory of the non-existence of public opinion says that one can either claim that a critical public exists, surrounded by an uneducated, uncritical mass public (as Mill and Tocqueville argued) or claim that public opinion exists in state and social institutions. This removes some of the critical functions of the public, and confuses it with the institutions that surround it. For many people, public opinion is just something that is not available in the real world (Bourdieu, 1984, p. 399). There are people who consider democracy as a weak model as they believe that it would not be desirable to have a democracy based on public opinion is beside the point as they are of the opinion that public opinion of the sort necessary to make it possible simply does not exist at all.

However, it is impossible to prove that public opinion does not exist in society in its real form. Public opinion is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the adult population.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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