Moral Dialogs and Public Opinion Research

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Etzioni’s article is thought provoking, and contains a series of arguments that would be useful lines of inquiry for scholars of public opinion. In many ways, these ideas link to, and can enrich existing areas of research on opinion formation, opinion change, and political behavior more broadly. Specifically, the elite vs. mass nature of these dialogs, the extent to which they are actual political discussions, and the impact of polarization on them are avenues where these ideas can inform broader understandings of public opinion, and vice versa. Etzioni’s arguments about the role of morals in political discussion and as agents of opinion change warrant further inquiry.