Presentation on theme: "Communication Studies Multicultural Communication"— Presentation transcript:
1 Dr. Marquita L. Byrd email@example.com Communication StudiesMulticultural CommunicationSan Jose State UniversityDr. Marquita L. Byrd
2 Spiral of Silence Theory Chapter OverviewSST at a GlanceIntroductionThe Court of Public OpinionAssumptions of SSTThe Media’s InfluenceThe Train TestThe Hard CoreIntegration and Critique
3 Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann German political scientist contributed the famous model called “Spiral of Silence”. Through this Spiral of Silence theory Neumann indirectly explains the Jews status during World War II under Nazi’s control. Jews were a minority and silenced through extermination. While Adolf Hitler dominated the whole society there were many Germans who did not support his regime, but became vocally silent for fear for their lives and the lives of their children.However many resisted though other means
4 Introduction People with a minority viewpoint remain in the background Communication will be constrainedPeople with a majority viewpoint become more encouraged to speak
5 The Court of Public Opinion Noelle-Neumann founded and directed Allensbach InstituteThe Spiral of Silence: Public Opinion-Our Social Skin, separates public opinion intoPublicOpinionPublic opinion is the attitudes and behaviors expressed in public in order to avoid isolation
6 SST at a Glance Media have profound effects on public opinion Mass media work with majority opinion to silence minority beliefsFear of isolation prompts those with minority views to examine beliefs of others
7 Assumptions of SSTThe fear of isolation causes individuals to try to assess the climate of opinions at all times. The fear of retribution, the fear of physical harm, the fear of punishment, the fear of annihilation.Individuals receive information about public opinion fromPersonal observationThe media
9 The Media’s Influence The media are Ubiquitous (everywhere)Cumulative (add up)Consonant (match each other)People experience the climate of public opinion through the mass mediaMovies, TV programs, news, entertainment programs, books, social media, magazines
10 The Train Test An assessment of the extent people will speak out The question: At the beginning of a 5-hour train ride, a person sits next to you and starts discussing the problems of food safety. Would you talk or not talk about the topic to the person?
11 Results of The Train Test FindingsSupporters of the dominant opinion are more willing to speak outMen from large cities, aged are more willing to speak outVarious ways of speaking out existPeople share their opinions more with those who agree
12 The Train Test Findings, continued People will voice an opinion if it aligns with current trendsPeople draw the strength of their convictions from a variety of sourcesPeople engage in “last-minute swings”
13 Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson 1837. A vain Emperor who cares for nothing except wearing and displaying clothes hires two swindlers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "hopelessly stupid". Finally the swindlers report that the suit is finished, and they mime dressing him. The Emperor's ministers cannot see the clothing themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions. The Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but continues the procession.The one who speaks out, the lone voice or committed few can change public opinion across time.
14 They are The Hard CoreUsually small groups of people who commit themselves to sustained, focused resistance again some type of oppression. (Could even be one person)The hard core moved public opinion on AIDS, gay marriage, use of marijuana, civil rights, women’s rights, and rights of the disabled.
15 The Hard CoreIf the minority opinion becomes loud enough and institutions of power bask them then the majority voice becomes less powerfulThe hard core (minority voices) moved public opinion on AIDS, on segregation, gay marriage and rights of the disabled.
17 The world has changed since Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann’s time due to New mediacyber space, computers, cell phones,social media, desktop publishing, self-publishing,Public access channels (radio andtelevision)Minority newspapersMinority TV stations and channelsCounter culture news such as Al Jazeera
18 Critical Weaknesses and Strengths of SST Problems with the theoryDoes not address resistanceGreatly understates the consequences of speaking out (isolation is the least painful)Dated due to new mediaStrengths of SSTProvides lens for looking at the relationship among majorityand minority opinions and the mediaEmployed in studies on many topics