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The Social Psychological Analysis of Attitudes towards the European Community


Martin Böcker

Based on a criticism of current attitude theories, an approach is presented that focuses on the expression of attitudes. Attitudinal discourse is introduced as the act of communication arising from different personal conceptualisations of the attitudinal object. Instead of studying attitudes towards objects of limited relevance, the European Community was chosen to add to this work the value of an applied study. The EC is of a particular relevance in the present period in which it is moving towards an economical and political union. The methodology used in this study includes the MDS-analysis of mental maps, content analysis and discourse analysis, and the expectancy-value analysis of predictor items. Data were collected in the U.K., in France and in Germany.
Contents: Current attitude theories - Attitude research and opinion polls - Mental maps - Attitudinal discourse - Attitude measurement methodology - Discourse analysis - History of the EC - International comparisons of attitudes to the EC.