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  • Gerrit Eicker 09:34 on 25. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, , , Fear of Isolation, , , , Momentum, Moral Issues, , , , Opinion Issues, , , Public Opinion, , , , , , , , , , , , , , Visible Momentum,   

    Spiral of Silence 

    Does social media end the spiral of silence? Probably not, but it might lessen its impact; http://eicker.at/SpiralOfSilence

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:34 on 25. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      RFERL: “Social Media And Ending ‘The Spiral Of Silence’ – There’s been a spate of good pieces on digital activism recently. ‘Technology Review‘ had a great story on the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, detailing all the ways activists used social networking (among other online and offline tools) to get people out on the streets. – There was also an interesting piece in ‘The New York Times‘ reporting on a new paper that argued that social-networking tools can ‘make you passive, can sap your initiative, (and) leave you content to watch the spectacle of life from your couch or smartphone.’ This wasn’t an exercise in moral techno-panics (this is your brain on social media!), but looked at how, in the eyes of the report’s author, social media actually kept people off the streets during the Egyptian crisis. Or: Full connectivity in a social network sometimes can hinder collective action… When people think of social media and revolutions, I think the tendency is to think solely of activists organizing rallies on Twitter and Facebook (they do do that too.) But more important seems to be the way that social media and shared cell phone video footage help in building a shared consciousness, or as Tufekci calls it a ‘visible momentum.’

      Tufekci, TR: “New Media and the People-Powered UprisingsAnother key dynamic is what’s known as ‘preference falsification’ to political scientists and ‘pluralistic ignorance’ to social psychologists: when people privately hold a particular view but do not share it in fear of reprisal, punishment, or violating a social norm. In autocracies, this can cause a ‘spiral of silence‘ in which many wish for regime change, but are afraid to speak up outside of few trusted ties. … It is in this context Facebook ‘likes’ of dissident pages such as ‘We are All Khaled Said,’ sharing of videos of regime brutality, online expressions of political anger, and acceptances of Facebook ‘invitations’ to protest all matter as they help build a visible momentum which, itself, is a condition of success. A public is not created just because everyone individually holds an opinion but because there is multi-level awareness of other people’s views leading to a spiral of action and protest. (I know that you know that I know that you know that we know …). – That is why the new media ecology is a game-changer and that is exactly the process John Pollock’s extensive on-the-ground reporting unravels.There has been a false debate. Was it social media or the people? Was it social media or the labor movements? Was it social media or anti-imperialist movement? Was it social media or youth? These questions are wrong and the answer is yes. The correct question is how.

      UT: “Neumann (1974) introduced the ‘spiral of silence’ as an attempt to explain in part how public opinion is formed. She wondered why the Germans supported wrong political positions that led to national defeat, humiliation and ruin in the 1930s-1940s. … The closer a person believes the opinion held is similar to the prevailing public opinion, the more they are willing to openly disclose that opinion in public. Then, if public sentiment changes, the person will recognize that the opinion is less in favor and will be less willing to express that opinion publicly. As the perceived distance between public opinion and a person’s personal opinion grows, the more unlikely the person is to express their opinion.

      Wikipedia: “The spiral of silence is a political science and mass communication theory propounded by the German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann. The theory asserts that a person is less likely to voice an opinion on a topic if one feels that one is in the minority for fear of reprisal or isolation from the majority. … The spiral of silence begins with fear of reprisal or isolation, and escalates from there. The fear of isolation is the centrifugal force that accelerates the spiral of silence. Individuals use what is described as ‘an innate ability’ or quasi-statistical sense to gauge public opinion. The Mass media play a large part in determining what the dominant opinion is, since our direct observation is limited to a small percentage of the population. The mass media have an enormous impact on how public opinion is portrayed, and can dramatically impact an individual’s perception about where public opinion lies, whether or not that portrayal is factual. Noelle-Neumann describes the spiral of silence as a dynamic process, in which predictions about public opinion become fact as mass media’s coverage of the majority opinion becomes the status quo, and the minority becomes less likely to speak out. The theory, however, only applies to moral or opinion issues, not issues that can be proven right or wrong using facts (if there, in fact, exists a distinction between fact and value).

  • Gerrit Eicker 18:44 on 25. March 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , Demoskopie, Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, , IfD, , Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach, Isolationsfurcht, , , Konformitätsdruck, Konsonanzstreben, , , , , Medienwirkungsforschung, , , Schweigespirale, Theorie der öffentlichen Meinung,   

    Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann 

    Noelle-Neumann, Gründerin des IfD Allensbach und Pionierin der Demoskopie, ist tot; http://j.mp/9S1T9l (via @blogorette)

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