chapter  17
14 Pages

Cultural Orientation and the Spiral of Silence

BySonny Rosenthal, Benjamin Hill Detenber

Public opinion is a product of social context and arises in the formation of diff erent opinion factions, communication among those factions and with the public, and the public acceptance or rejection of the factions’ positions (Price, 1989). Cultural factors can aff ect both the variety of opinion factions and the communication processes that link them with the public. While some cultures value a diversity of perspectives and unencumbered expression, other cultures strive for unity among perspectives and actively suppress disruptive expression (Van de Vliert, 2011). Still, other cultures contain a mix of values that can result in complex states of public opinion (Lee, 2006; Manaev, Manayeva, & Yuran, 2010). This chapter considers the broad eff ects of cultural orientation on the formation and expression of public opinion as it relates to spiral of silence (Noelle-Neumann, 1984).