Public opinion research

A.A. 2021/2022
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
Obiettivi formativi
The students will be provided with the conceptual and empirical tools to understand and inquire further into today's fundamental processes relating to public opinion in a number of social and political domains
Risultati apprendimento attesi
At the end of the course, students will have comprehensive sociological knowledge of theoretical mechanisms driving public opinion processes, such as the rise of populist-authoritarian forces and the spread of digital movements of opinion. Besides, they will master the essential logic and practice of empirical public opinion research through the intensive use of international survey-based datasets.
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Secondo trimestre
Public opinion theories
Materialist and postmaterialist values
The "silent revolution" and the cultural backlash theory
Political and 'metapolitical' ideologies
Contemporary ideological directions
Public opinion in the age of social media : The case of 'digital movements of opinion'
Social media, echo chambers, and political polarization
Students are expected to have a basic preliminary knowledge of (1) the logic of social research (e.g. the difference between quantitative and qualitative research methods) and (2) contemporary history of politics (i.e. the main international political actors and regimes since the 20th century).
Metodi didattici
The instructor will use a) lectures; b) group work and exercises (using software for survey data analysis and tools for digital data analysis): c) discussion of the case studies carried out and presented by students in the class.
Materiale di riferimento
Norris, P., Inglehart , R. (2019). Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism. Cambridge University Press.
- Chapter 2: The Cultural Backlash Theory
- Chapter 4: The Backlash Against the Silent Revolution
- Chapter 13: The Authoritarian-Populist Challenge

Barisione, M. (2021). Polar Stars. Why the Political Ideologies of Modernity still Matter. Milano University Press.
- Introduction
- Chapter 1: Pursuing a polar star: political ideologies and metapolitical goals
- Chapter 7: Contemporary ideological directions

Persily, N., Tucker, J.A. (eds) (2020). Social Media and Democracy. Cambridge University Press.
- Chapter 3: "Social media, echo chambers, and political polarization" (P. Barbera').

Ceron, A. (Ed.) (2022). Encyclopedia of Technology & Politics. Edward Elgar Publishing
- Entry on "Digital Movement of Opinion" (M. Barisione)

The reading material will be provided on the Ariel web page of the course
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
The exam is written. It requires extensive answers (half to one-page each) to 3 open-ended questions relating to the main text ("Cultural Backlash"). The time available will be 60 minutes.
Attending students will be offered the opportunity to replace part of the book with material (slides and notes) concerning the "thematic focuses" carried out during the course.
Attending students will also be encouraged to present a (PowerPoint) research paper based either on an international survey dataset or on digital data retrieved from social media platforms. These presentations will result in extra points to be added to the final grade.
Lezioni: 60 ore
Docente: Barisione Mauro
Mercoledì 11-12.30 e 14-15.30
stanza 301