Since its original articulation in the early 1970s, the 'spiral of silence' theory has become one of the most studied theories of communication and public opinion. It has been tested in varied sociopolitical contexts, with different issues and across communication systems around the world. Attracting the interest of scholars from communication, political science, sociology, public opinion and psychology, it has become both the subject of tempestuous academic debate as well as a mainstay in courses on communication theory globally.

Reflecting substantial new thinking, this collection provides a comprehensive examination of the spiral of silence theory, offering a synthesis of prior research as well as a solid platform for future study. It addresses various ideological and methodological criticisms of the theory, links the theory with allied areas of scholarship, and provides analyses of empirical tests. Contributors join together to present a breadth of disciplinary and international perspectives. As a distinctive and innovative examination of this influential theory, this volume serves as a key resource for future research and scholarship in communicaiton, public opinion, and political science.

chapter |8 pages

Speaking in Spirals

An Updated Meta-Analysis of the Spiral of Silence

part |56 pages

Media Fragmentation, Internet, and Public Opinion

chapter |17 pages

Normative Implications of the Spiral of Silence

Hearing the Other Side in the 21st Century

chapter |10 pages

Linking Social Network Analysis to the Spiral of Silence, Coorientation, and Political Discussion

The Intersection of Political Perceptions and Political Communication

part |48 pages

Allied Research Traditions

chapter |14 pages

Social Norms, Spirals of Silence and Framing Theory

An Argument for Considering Cross-Cultural Differences in Media Effects Research

chapter |8 pages

Pluralistic Ignorance and the Spiral of Silence Meet

Mutual Lessons

chapter |8 pages

Opinion Leadership and Public Opinion

Where Weak/Strong Media Paradigms Converge

part |33 pages

Intercultural Contexts

part |7 pages

A Personal Tribute