Skip to content
Open global navigation

Cambridge University Press

AcademicLocation selectorSearch toggleMain navigation toggle
Cart
Register Sign in Wishlist

Making Sense of Public Opinion
American Discourses about Immigration and Social Programs

$34.99

  • Date Published: January 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107688698

$34.99
Paperback

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook


Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact collegesales@cambridge.org providing details of the course you are teaching.

Description
Product filter button
Description
Contents
Resources
Courses
About the Authors
  • Questions about immigration and social welfare programs raise the central issues of who belongs to a society and what its members deserve. Yet the opinions of the American public about these important issues seem contradictory and confused. Claudia Strauss explains why: public opinion on these issues and many others is formed not from liberal or conservative ideologies but from diverse vernacular discourses that may not fit standard ideologies but are easy to remember and repeat. Drawing on interviews with people from various backgrounds, Strauss identifies and describes 59 conventional discourses about immigration and social welfare and demonstrates how we acquire conventional discourses from our opinion communities. Making Sense of Public Opinion: American Discourses about Immigration and Social Programs explains what conventional discourses are, how to study them, and why they are fundamental elements of public opinion and political culture.

    • Offers a new theory of opinion formation
    • Guide to 59 conventional American discourses about immigration and social welfare programs
    • Shows that word choice cues different conventional discourses and affects responses; this has cross-national implications for survey design and political messaging
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    “Claudia Strauss’s new book resolves one of the central mysteries of public opinion: how can Americans hold contradictory views on salient issues like immigration? She uses the trope of conventional discourse to reveal the complexity of thinking that lies behind the simplistic renderings of public opinion that are too often extracted from surveys. The book is required reading for anyone who wants to think seriously about public opinion and the politics of policy options.” – Richard Alba, City University of New York

    “Claudia Strauss provides a thorough discussion of the various immigration and social welfare discourses that shape public opinion. She shows convincingly that people draw on wide-ranging conventional discourses that they hear and read about in their daily lives, often resulting in seemingly contradictory positions held at the same time. A must-read for anyone interested in how public opinion is formed and how individuals chose among competing views on such important issues as immigration and social welfare.” – Leo Chavez, University of California, Irvine

    “Scholars, pundits, and politicians have tried for decades to understand how people come to hold political opinions and preferences, why different people hold distinct views, and whether such views can be changed. I thought that I had read every conceivable explanation – ranging from deeply felt ideologies to apparently trivial variations in surveys’ question wording, and everything in between. But here is an innovative and exciting explanation; Claudia Strauss’s conception of conventional discourses cuts through an amazing amount of chatter and gives a new perspective on what citizens say, believe, and fear.” – Jennifer Hochschild, Harvard University

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity

    ×

    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?

    ×

    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107688698
    • length: 454 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 14 b/w illus. 11 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Overview:
    1. Conventional discourses, public opinion, and political culture
    2. Analysis of conventional discourses: backgrounds and methods
    3. Conventional discourses and personal lives
    Part II. Immigration:
    4. Public opinion about immigration
    5. 'Too many immigrants' and discourses about economic costs and benefits
    6. Discourses about legality, illegality, and national security
    7. Discourses about immigration and American culture
    8. Discourses about immigration causes and contexts
    Part III. Social Welfare Programs:
    9. Public opinion about social welfare programs
    10. Discourses about limitations of government programs
    11. Discourses about personal responsibility and benefits for the deserving
    12. Discourses about caring for self, family, community, and nation
    13. Discourses about social causes of economic insecurity
    Part IV. Conclusion:
    14. Questions and implications.

  • Author

    Claudia Strauss, Pitzer College, Claremont
    Claudia Strauss is Professor of Anthropology at Pitzer College. She is the author of A Cognitive Theory of Cultural Meaning (Cambridge University Press, 1997) with Naomi Quinn and co-editor of Human Motives and Cognitive Models (Cambridge University Press, 1992).

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account

Cancel

Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email cflack@cambridge.org

Register Sign in
Please note that an additional password is required to open the solutions file once you have downloaded it. Contact collegesales@cambridge.org for this password.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website, your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

© Cambridge University Press 2014

Back to top

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel Delete

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

×
Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.
×