By, or for, the People? A Meta-Analysis of Public Opinion of Government

By, or for, the People? A Meta-Analysis of Public Opinion of Government

March 25, 2005
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After a careful review of dozens of surveys and thousands of survey questions, most conducted within the past five years, the author categorized several images of government that emerge from existing surveys. These images are somewhat subjective and are simply intended to illuminate patterns in opinion that can lead to strategic insights for communicators. The analysis is constrained by the limits of existing opinion data, meaning that other images of government undoubtedly exist but were not apparent in existing surveys. In the larger project of the FrameWorks Institute to research and analyze the frames with which Americans process information about government, the next phase of qualitative research will be able to build upon and refine these initial image categories.

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