Den offentlige menings sociologi

  • Steen Vallentin


The sociology of public opinion This article discusses a constructivist approach to the concept of public opinion. It argues that this type of approach is able to capture public opinion’s concrete social manifestations, rather than the counterfactual democratic ideals that the concept is often associated with. Two constructivist strategies are discussed. The first is an unmasking strategy, which emphasizes the possibilities of „de-ontologizing“ public opinion. This strategy is, however, a strategy of exclusion, in that its aim is to exclude everything that does not provide meaning (at a higher reflective constructivist level) about public opinion. The other strategy is a materializing strategy, which aims to „re-ontologize“ public opi-nion. It is a more inclusive strategy, and the article argues that this strategy has more productive potential.