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Public opinion and the media form the foundation of the United States' representative democracy. They are the subject of enormous scrutiny by scholars, pundits, and ordinary citizens. This Oxford Handbook takes on the 'big questions' about public opinion and the media-both empirical and normative-focusing on current debates and social scientific research. Bringing together the thinking of a team of leading academic experts, its chapters provide a cutting assessment of contemporary research on public opinion, the media, and their interconnections. Emphasizing changes in the mass media and communications technology-the vast number of cable channels, websites and blogs, and the new social media, which are changing how news about political life is collected and conveyed-they describe the evolving information interdependence of the media and public opinion. In addition, the volume reviews the wide range of influences on public opinion, including the processes by which information communicated through the media can affect the public. It describes what has been learned from the latest research in psychology, genetics, and studies of the impact of gender, race and ethnicity, economic status, education and sophistication, religion, and generational change on a wide range of political attitudes and perceptions. The Handbook includes extensive discussion of how public opinion and mass media coverage are studied through survey research and increasingly through experiments using the latest technological advances. The Oxford Handbooks of American Politics are a set of reference books offering authoritative and engaging critical overviews of the state of scholarship on American politics. Each volume focuses on a particular aspect of the field. The project is under the General Editorship of George C. Edwards III, and distinguished specialists in their respective fields edit each volume. The Handbooks aim not just to report on the discipline, but also to shape it as scholars critically assess the scholarship on a topic and propose directions in which it needs to move. The series is an indispensable reference for anyone working in American politics.