The Spiral of Silence
New Perspectives on Communication and Public Opinion
Edited by Wolfgang Donsbach, Charles T. Salmon, Yariv Tsfati
Routledge – 2013 – 232 pages
Since its original articulation in the early 1970s, the 'spiral of silence' theory has become one of the most studied theories of communication and public opinion. It has been tested in varied sociopolitical contexts, with different issues and across communication systems around the world. Attracting the interest of scholars from communication, political science, sociology, public opinion and psychology, it has become both the subject of tempestuous academic debate as well as a mainstay in courses on communication theory globally.
Reflecting substantial new thinking, this collection provides a comprehensive examination of the spiral of silence theory, offering a synthesis of prior research as well as a solid platform for future study. It addresses various ideological and methodological criticisms of the theory, links the theory with allied areas of scholarship, and provides analyses of empirical tests. Contributors join together to present a breadth of disciplinary and international perspectives. As a distinctive and innovative examination of this influential theory, this volume serves as a key resource for future research and scholarship in communicaiton, public opinion, and political science.
Part I: Contexts for the Study of Spiral of Silence Research
1. Public opinion and social control
2. Paradigm shifts in the study of media effects
3. The social nature of man: Psychological foundations of the spiral of silence theory
4. Media and public opinion in the fragmented society
5. The spiral of silence: Ideology, politics and social theory:
6. Social exchange in the public sphere: A deliberative model of public opinion
7. Hearing the other side
Part II: Allied Research Traditions
8. The third-person effect and spiral of silence
9. Social networks research and the spiral of silence
10. Agenda setting, framing, priming and the spiral of silence
11. Journalistic practices, role perceptions, bias in the media
12. Opinion Leadership and public opinion
13. Propaganda, social movements and alternative expressions of public opinion
14. Kuuki theory and the spiral-of-silence
15. World Public Opinion
16. Communication and opinion expression in online environments
Part III: Enduring and Emerging Issues
17. A meta-analysis of empirical findings
18. Methodological conundrums in spiral of silence research
19. Spiral of silence across different cultures
20. Empirical evidence on SOS in Asian context
21. Empirical evidence on the spiral of silence in the Middle East
22. The spiral of silence in Latin America
23. How the spiral of silence applies to Africa
24. Spiral of silence and political change in the Middle East
Part IV: Conclusion
25. Open questions and future directions in spiral of silence research
Wolfgang Donsbach is professor of communication at the Department of Media and Communication at Dresden University of Technology, Germany.
Charles T. Salmon is Professor and Director of Graduate Research Programmes in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Yariv Tsfati is Associate Professor at the Department of Communication, University of Haifa, Israel.