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Spiral of Silence Theory

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Samantha Minyard

on 7 March 2013

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Transcript of Spiral of Silence Theory

The Spiral of Silence Theory Samantha Minyard
Ashlee Collins
Erin Drummond
Kelsey Williams
Dgiovahni Denize What exactly is this spiral of silence? Formed by Elizabeth Noelle-Neumann, this theory states that the society/media publicizes opinions that are mainstream and people adjust their opinions according to the perceptions of that society/media to avoid being isolated.

Aka- The bandwagon effect History and Orientation
Neumann (1974) introduced the “spiral of silence” as
an attempt to explain in part how public opinion is formed.
She wondered why the Germans supported wrong political
positions that led to national defeat, humiliation and ruin in
the 1930s-1940s.

Through this Spiral of Silence theory Neumann indirectly explains the Jews status during World War II under Nazi’s control. Here, Adolf Hitler dominated the whole society as well as the minority. The Jews became silent due to the fear of isolation, separation, or death. Spiral of Silence in action Founder of Spiral of Silence Dr. Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann Willingness to speak out This is the second aspect of the Spiral of Silence theory, this has to do with responding and "speaking out", in the past people do this by writing letters to politicians and talking with close friends or acquaintances but social media sites change the dynamic of the willingness to "speak out".
According to a study done on students using social media sites, they were more willing to voice their opinions using an anonymous chat room, but when it came to Facebook or Twitter the same students kept their opinions to themselves. Assumptions of the theory a major assumption in the theory –
that people fear social isolation and therefore are hesitant to voice their unpopular opinions.

Maximum numbers get more vocal space in the society and lesser numbers get less vocal space and become less vocal and/or become silent. Social Fatigue Social fatigue can result from over-use of social networking sites or various online forums where clashing opinions can wear out a person's tolerance faster. KONY 2012 Another example of Spiral of Silence in media today... Social Networking Sites People are constantly observing the behaviors of those around them, and seeing which gain approval and disapproval from society. With social networking sites this has become a constant cycle. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are always at our finger tips, just awaiting us to sign on and observe interactions. The mass media has strong influences on the spiral of silence theory. A "Mean Girl" approach to the Spiral of Silence Theory Regina George Approval or Disapproval People unconsciously issue their own threats of isolation by showing signals of approval or disapproval. The way society (school) perceives Regina George shapes individual's perceptions of the social norm People do what she says
Society threatens different individuals with isolation
You can’t sit with us! Gretchen Wieners Gretchen Weiners (Follower) doesn't agree with Regina George (leader).
Though she isn't happy with how things are playing out she stays quiet because to her
"It was better being in the 'Plastics', hating life, than to not be in at all."

Fear of rejection kept her from speaking her mind. “My dad invented toaster strudel”: the need to feel accepted.
Individuals experience fear of isolation continuously. Karen Smith The results of Karen's "bandwagon jumping" affects her behavior in public, especially her way of not expressing her opinions openly. Cady Heron This fear of isolation causes individuals to try to assess the climate of opinion at all times. The media coverage shapes individual’s perception of public sentiment on an issue Individuals experience fear of isolation continuously. Animal world versus girl world. The Asch Experiment
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