Walter lippmann public opinion summary

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walter lippmann public opinion summary

Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann

In what is widely considered the most influential book ever written by Walter Lippmann, the late journalist and social critic provides a fundamental treatise on the nature of human information and communication. As Michael Curtis indicates in his introduction to this edition. Public Opinion qualifies as a classic by virtue of its systematic brilliance and literary grace. The work is divided into eight parts, covering such varied issues as stereotypes, image making, and organized intelligence. The study begins with an analysis of the world outside and the pictures in our heads, a leitmotif that starts with issues of censorship and privacy, speed, words, and clarity, and ends with a careful survey of the modern newspaper. The work is a showcase for Lippmanns vast erudition. He easily integrated the historical, psychological, and philosophical literature of his day, and in every instance showed how relevant intellectual formations were to the ordinary operations of everyday life. Public Opinion is of enduring significance for communications scholars, historians, sociologists, and political scientists.
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The Myth of Freedom: The Chains of Public Opinion - part 2 (#55)

Book Review: Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann (1922)

At a distance above and behind them the light of a fire is blazing, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have before them, over which they show the puppets. And do you see, I said, men passing along the wall carrying vessels, which appear over the wall; also figures of men and animals, made of wood and stone and various materials; and some of the prisoners, as you would expect, are talking, and some of them are silent? Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave? True, he said: how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads? And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would see only the shadows? And if they were able to talk with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them?

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Reassessing Walter Lippmann pt1

In real life no one acts on the theory that he can have a public opinion on every public question, though this fact is often concealed where a person thinks there is no public question because he has no public opinion. But in the theory of our politics we continue to think more literally than Lord Bryce intended, that "the action of Opinion is continuous," [1] even though "its action. For all these are in the first instance just as confusing as partisan rhetoric, and much less entertaining. I am not making that assumption. Primarily, the intelligence bureau is an instrument of the man of action, of the representative charged with decision, of the worker at his work, and if it does not help them, it will help nobody in the end. But in so far as it helps them to understand the environment in which they are working, it makes what they do visible.

The achievement of the Enlightenment theories of civil democracy was. To transform the classical assembly of the people—in Athenian democracy a physical, face-to-face forum—into a mass-mediated, fictive body constituted by newspapers bringing people together, not in physical space but in shared stories and conversations at a distance. Peters, , p. Walter Lippmann, however, in his hugely influential book Public Opinion , was extremely sceptical about the viability of this idea within 20 th century society. Lippmann was generally critical regarding the possibility of democracy in the modern world, leading him to be dismissed as a democratic elitist, or in extreme cases an anti-democrat reference.

Public Opinion is a book by Walter Lippmann , published in It is a critical assessment of functional democratic government, especially of the irrational and often self-serving social perceptions that influence individual behavior and prevent optimal societal cohesion. The introduction describes man's inability to interpret the world: "The real environment is altogether too big, too complex, and too fleeting for direct acquaintance" between people and their environment. People construct a pseudo-environment that is a subjective, biased, and necessarily abridged mental image of the world, and to a degree, everyone's pseudo-environment is a fiction. People "live in the same world, but they think and feel in different ones. Human behavior is stimulated by the person's pseudo-environment and then is acted upon in the real world.

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