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.

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