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Matters of Opinion
Talking About Public Issues

£21.99

Part of Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics

  • Date Published: August 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521075794

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  • Matters of Opinion offers an interesting insight into 'public opinion' as reported in the media, asking where these opinions actually come from, and how they have their effects. Drawing on the analysis of conversations from focus groups, phone-ins and broadcast interviews with members of the public, Greg Myers argues that we must go back to these encounters, asking questions such as what members of the public thought they were being asked, who they were talking as, and whom they were talking to. He reveals that people don't carry a store of opinions, ready to tell strangers; they use opinions in order to get along with other people, and how they say things is as important as what they say. Engaging and informative, this book illuminates debates on research methods, the public sphere and deliberative democracy, on broadcast talk, and on what it means to participate in public life.

    • A detailed discourse analysis of focus groups
    • Discourse issues such as reported speech and topic control are linked to social issues of belief, agency, trust and expertise
    • Interactions are considered within a wider context of broadcast talk, phone-ins and news
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521075794
    • length: 280 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements
    Transcription conventions
    Focus-group data
    1. Paradoxes of opinion
    2. A tool kit for analysing group discussions
    3. Forums for opinion: 'what is it that's going on here?'
    4. Institutions of opinion: voice of the people?
    5. Topics in interaction: 'why that now?'
    6. Agreeing and disagreeing: maintaining sociable argument
    7. Representing speech: other voices, other places
    8. Questioning expertise: who says?
    9. Radio phone-ins: mediated sociable arguments
    10. Vox pop television interviews: constructing the public
    11. Opinions as talk
    References
    Index.

  • Author

    Greg Myers, Lancaster University
    Greg Myers is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language, University of Lancaster.

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