chapter
Introduction
Pages 2

Public opinion and ideology cannot exist without communication, but then neither can society. Yet communication has received little attention from political sociologists. Public opinion is to some extent an exception, but here far more work has been done by researchers and writers in other fields. Indeed, communication studies have expanded enormously since the 1950s and the mass media, especially television, have been the subject of much research. In particular, there has been a great deal of interest and speculation about the relationship between the mass media and public opinion. Earlier interest in public opinion had centred largely on the role of propaganda, especially on its use in the totalitarian societies of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union under Stalin.