Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC OPINION
ANALISI DELL'OPINIONE PUBBLICA

Public Opinion, Media and Democracy
DEMOCRAZIA, POPULISMO E ANTIEUROPEISMO NELLA COSTRUZIONE EUROPEA

A.Y. Credits
2017/2018 9
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Ilvo Diamanti Every week by appointment
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English French
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Political Science, Economics and Government (L-36)
Curriculum: PERCORSO COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course is intended to deal with the relationship between public opinion and democracy, with respect to the concepts, the theories, the methods and the techniques. For this purpose, it will develop, before all, the different definitions and main theories of public opinion, putting them in relation with the diverse forms and with the different actors (the parties at first) of the representative democracy and with their metamorphosis: from the “Government by the parties” until the “Audience Democracy”. All the way to the “Hybrid Democracy”. The course, moreover, will retrace the methods of analysis and measurement of the public opinion, with a particular attention to the opinion polls. To this respect, we will study in depth the degree and the limits of their representativeness, but also the way they are communicated. With the aim of showing how the public opinion is not a “given” but rather a social and political construction, to which many actors indeed contribute: politicians, the media, the intellectuals and the researchers, pressure groups and social movements.

Program

1.     Introduction to the concepts, the theories and the methods of analysis of representative democracy and public opinion;

2.     Public Opinion and Democracy: the metamorphosis. From the “Government by the parties” to the “Audience Democracy”;

3.     The “Hybrid Democracy”;

4.     Personalization and communication;

5.     Decline and re-forming of the media: Newspapers, Television, Digital Tv, Social Media.

6.     Are parties still useful?

7.     Methods and instruments for Public Opinion analysis: the polls.

8.     Polls, opinions, reality.

9.     Public opinion as a social construction and illusion.

10.  The general elections starting from February 2013. Phenomenology of the Five Stars Movement and of Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party.

Program

1.     Introduction to the concepts, the theories and the methods of analysis of representative democracy and public opinion;

2.     Public Opinion and Democracy: the metamorphosis. From the “Government by the parties” to the “Audience Democracy”;

3.     The “Hybrid Democracy”;

4.     Personalization and communication;

5.     Decline and re-forming of the media: Newspapers, Television, Digital Tv, Social Media.

6.     Are parties still useful?

7.     Methods and instruments for Public Opinion analysis: the polls.

8.     Polls, opinions, reality.

9.     Public opinion as a social construction and illusion.

10.  The general elections starting from February 2013. Phenomenology of the Five Stars Movement and of Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party.

Bridging Courses

No bridging courses are needed.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

Knowledge and understanding. The course is aimed at transferring to the students the knowledge about the paradigms of analysis and the basis of the main approaches to the study of Public Opinion. In particular, it is intended to intertwine the diverse media with the different types of Public Opinion and of Democracy. Particular attention will be devoted to the methods of survey and “building” of Public Opinion: then, to the analysis of the media and of the polls. The course will adopt different methods of educational work in order to attain these objectives, such as: frontal lectures on basic topics, use of visual materials, as well as the analysis and the checking of the survey instruments: in particular, the polls. For this purpose, meetings and debates with scholars and professionals in this domain are planned: researchers, professors, journalists, pollsters will be involved.

Applying knowledge and understanding. Students will have to acquire the basic competences about the main perspectives and meanings of Public Opinion. Moreover, they are expected to acquire a certain degree of familiarity with the channels of Public Opinion communication and survey: the media and the polls. The course will adopt different methods of educational work in order to attain these objectives, such as: frontal lectures on basic topics, use of visual materials, in-depth seminars and experimentations with colleagues and specialists of opinion polls and with media professionals, both from Italy and from abroad.

Making judgments. Students, at the end of the course, will have to show their capacity to correlate concepts, methods, techniques concerning Public Opinion analysis. For this purpose, the students will be involved in working seminars concerning issues debated on the media and through opinion polls. To this end, surveys and analysis will be reviewed, sometimes at the presence of their authors. The aim will be that of checking but also of critically assessing categories, methods, results, interpretations.

Communication skills. Students are expected to dispose, at the end of the course, of adequate skills in the use of the scientific language and in the presentation, as well as in the discussion, of survey’s results, in the occasion of seminars. To this end, classroom-taught lessons will be held, together with seminars and group works, which will allow students to experiment and improve their communication skills on these topics.

Learning skills. Students will have to develop adequate learning competences in order to widen the skills acquired through the course, in relation to other sectors and other places in the domain of Public Opinion, not only within the university context but also in the media and in the public opinion surveys.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

Seminars with experts as speakers and workshops.


Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Didactics

Classroom-taught lectures, with projection of PowerPoint slides as a support, for the general part. Presentation and discussion of survey results for the specific part.

Attendance

Recording of students’ attendance to the lectures is not required

Course books

·  Grossi G., L'opinione pubblica, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2004 (escluso il cap. 5) oppure Price V., L'opinone pubblica, Bologna, Il Mulino. 2004.

·  Manin B.,  I principi del governo rappresentativo (Prefazione di I. Diamanti, Introduzione, capp. V-VI, Conclusioni e Postfazione). Bologna, Il Mulino, 2010.  

·   Diamanti I., F. Bordignon e L. Ceccarini (a cura di), Un salto nel voto, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2013: Introduzione di I. Diamanti, paragrafi di A. Nizzoli, G. Boccia Artieri e N. Pagnoncelli.

·  Meloni V., Il crepuscolo dei media. Informazione, tecnologia e mercato, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2013

·  Pagnoncelli N., Dare i numeri. Le percezioni sbagliate sulla realtà sociale, Bologna, EDB, 2016

Assessment

Students can choose between two different exam methods:

1) oral examination. This is recommended to students who do not attend lectures or participate only occasionally.

2) Written examination at the end of the course. Available for students who regularly participate to the lectures, seminars and practice classroom exercises. The date will be agreed with the students attending the lectures.

Both for the written exam and the oral one, main evaluation criteria are:

  • Students’ capacity to clearly define the main theories and concepts of the discipline;
  • The degree of articulation of their answers and arguments;
  • Their capacity of critically assessing the concepts and of analyzing socio-political facts and events through the theoretical instruments proposed in the course.


 

    Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

    Didactics

    Studying the text book as indicated below

    Attendance

    Recording of students’ attendance to the lectures is not required

    Course books

    ·  Grossi G., L'opinione pubblica, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2004 (escluso il cap. 5) oppure Price V., L'opinone pubblica, Bologna, Il Mulino. 2004.

    ·  Manin B.,  I principi del governo rappresentativo (Prefazione di I. Diamanti, Introduzione, capp. V-VI, Conclusioni e Postfazione). Bologna, Il Mulino, 2010.  

    ·   Diamanti I., F. Bordignon e L. Ceccarini (a cura di), Un salto nel voto, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2013: Introduzione di I. Diamanti, paragrafi di A. Nizzoli, G. Boccia Artieri e N. Pagnoncelli.

    ·  Meloni V., Il crepuscolo dei media. Informazione, tecnologia e mercato, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2013

    ·  Pagnoncelli N., Dare i numeri. Le percezioni sbagliate sulla realtà sociale, Bologna, EDB, 2016

    Assessment

    Oral examination at the end of the course according to the university calendar.

    Notes

    This is a "supported course". Students are able to request to sit the final exam in English or French with an alternative bibliography.

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