The sampling referendum in the service of popular government
Item Type:Journal article
Citation:Hackett, Felix E. 'The sampling referendum in the service of popular government'. - Dublin: Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland,Vol. XVI No. 4, 1940/1941, pp63-90
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The attitude which may be taken towards the method of sampling referenda as a measure of public opinion will depend mainly on two factors; the trust reposed on the technique of scientific sampling and the degree of acceptance of the democratic machinery of government. Public opinion, scientific sampling and democracy are the three threads entwining the wide range of topics discussed in this paper. In the forefront is Dr. Gallup, who founded the American Institute of Public Opinion and who has secured an important status in the United States for this technique of measuring public opinion. It will, however, seem inexplicable how this has been achieved in such a short time unless it is recognised that the force wielded by public opinion in that country is "a real force impalpable as the wind yet a force all are trying to discover and nearly all to obey" and that there "public opinion is more than anywhere else a ruling power". (Brycc.) A brief description of the working of the British Institute of Public Opinion and the new qualitative mode of social investigation, Mass-Observation, established about the same time is followed by a short note on the War Time Social Survey based on the limited information available. It is evident that a mass of social and political data both interesting and valuable is now being collected in Great Britain.
Description:Read on Friday, 28th February, 1941
Author: Hackett, Felix E.
Publisher:Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland
Type of material:Journal article
Series/Report no:Journal of The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland
Vol. XVI No. 4 1940/1941
Availability:Full text available