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The Spiral of Silence

Public Opinion--Our Social Skin

In this groundbreaking work, Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann examines public opinion as a form of social control in which individuals, almost instinctively sensing the opinions of those around them, shape their behavior to prevailing attitudes about what is acceptable.

For this second edition, Noelle-Neumann has added three new chapters: the first discusses new discoveries in the history of public opinion; the second continues the author’s efforts to construct a comprehensive theory of public opinion, addressing criticisms and defenses of her "spiral of silence" theory that have appeared since 1980; the third offers a concise and updated summary of the book’s arguments.

277 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1984, 1993

Political Science: Political Behavior and Public Opinion

Sociology: Collective Behavior, Mass Communication

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Second American Edition
Introduction to the First American Edition
1. The Hypothesis of Silence
2. Testing with Survey Research Instruments
3. Fear of Isolation as a Motive
4. Public Opinion: What Is It?
5. The Law of Opinion: John Locke
6. Government Rests on Opinion: David Hume, James Madison
7. Launching the Term "Public-Opinion": Jean-Jacques Rousseau
8. Public Opinion as Tyranny: Alexis de Tocqueville
9. The Concept of "Social Control" Is Formed and the Concept of "Public Opinion" Is Shattered
10. The Howling Chorus of Wolves
11. Public Opinion among African and Pacific Tribe
12. Storming the Bastille: Public Opinion and Mass Psychology
13. Fashion Is Public Opinion
14. The Pillory
15. The Law and Public Opinion
16. Public Opinion Creates Integration
17. Avant-garde, Heretics, and Outsiders: Challenging Public Opinion
18. The Stereotype as a Vehicle for Spreading Public Opinion: Walter Lippman
19. Public Opinion Selects the Issues: Niklas Luhmann
20. The Journalist’s Privilege: Conferring Public Attention
21. Public Opinion Has Two Sources—One, the Mass Media
22. The Dual Climate of Opinion
23. The Articulation Function: Those Whose Point of View Is Not Represented by the Media Are Effectively Mute
24. Vox Populi—Vox Dei
25. New Discoveries
26. Toward a Theory of Public Opinion
27. The Manifest and Latent Functions of Public Opinion: A Summary
Afterword to Express Thanks
Afterword to the Second Edition

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