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Democracy and Public Opinion (8124.2)

Level: Level 1 - Undergraduate Introductory Unit
Credit Points: 3
HECS Bands:

Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Design
Discipline: Discipline of Journalism & Communication Studies




    This unit is no longer offered. Information may be available for Units in the following years:


    This unit introduces students to the concept and practice of public opinion, through an emphasis on public opinion formation and expression in Australia and other western developed nations. Students are introduced to key theories through an historical examination of the changing understandings of public opinion, and its relationship with democratic theory. Students critically analyse contemporary practices of public opinion formation and measurement, with a particular focus on the polling and mediated representation of public issues. Case studies will examine the relationships between media reporting, interest group opinion, policymakers and everyday conversation in shaping public opinion, politics and public policy.

    Learning Outcomes

    With the satisfactory completion of this unit, students will:

    1. understand the role of public opinion in a democratic society;

    2. demonstrate knowledge of the historical development of public opinion theories;

    3. critically analyse contested approaches to understanding public opinion formation, change and measurement;

    4. apply public opinion theories to a range of contemporary case studies;

    5. demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills;

    6. demonstrate written and oral communication skills.

    Contact Hours

    3 hours per week.



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