The field of public opinion is one of the most diverse in political science. Over the last 60 years, scholars have drawn upon the disciplines of psychology, economics, sociology, and even biology to learn how ordinary people come to understand the complicated business of politics. But much of the path-breaking research in the field of public opinion is published in journals, taking up fairly narrow questions one at a time and often requiring advanced statistical knowledge to understand these findings. As a result, the study of public opinion can seem confusing and incoherent to undergraduates. To engage undergraduate students in this area, a new type of textbook is required.
The second edition of New Directions in Public Opinion brings together leading scholars to provide an accessible and coherent overview of the current state of the field of public opinion. Each chapter provides a general overview of topics that are at the cutting edge of study as well as well-established cornerstones of the field. Each contributor has made substantive revisions to their chapters, and three chapters have been added on genetics and biology, immigration, and political extremism and the Tea Party. Suitable for use as a main textbook or in tandem with a lengthier survey, this book comprehensively covers the topics of public opinion research and pushes students further to explore critical topics in contemporary politics.