Trivialization and Public Opinion

Slogans, Substance, and Styles of Thought in the Age of Complexity

  • Oldrich Bubak
  • Henry Jacek

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. On Trivialization

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Oldrich Bubak, Henry Jacek
      Pages 3-26
    3. Oldrich Bubak, Henry Jacek
      Pages 27-48
    4. Oldrich Bubak, Henry Jacek
      Pages 49-68
  3. Opinions and Their Public

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 69-69
    2. Oldrich Bubak, Henry Jacek
      Pages 71-94
    3. Oldrich Bubak, Henry Jacek
      Pages 95-116
    4. Oldrich Bubak, Henry Jacek
      Pages 117-137
  4. Approaching Complexity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 139-139
    2. Oldrich Bubak, Henry Jacek
      Pages 141-164
    3. Oldrich Bubak, Henry Jacek
      Pages 165-186
    4. Oldrich Bubak, Henry Jacek
      Pages 187-210
  5. Shifting Cultures

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 211-211
    2. Oldrich Bubak, Henry Jacek
      Pages 213-230
    3. Oldrich Bubak, Henry Jacek
      Pages 231-251
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 253-271

About this book


"Taking a transdisciplinary view, this innovative title serves both as an important addition and a challenge to the existing research in communications and in social sciences more generally...I highly recommend this book to all readers seeking a more complete picture of change, so needed in our increasingly complex society."

-D. R. F. Taylor, Distinguished Research Professor, Carleton University, Canada

“This is an important book that should be read by anyone concerned about the current state of political discourse in the industrialized democracies...We should all learn to listen and to ask: ‘how do you know?’”

-Fred Fletcher, Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies and Political Science, York University, Canada

Centering on public discourse and its fundamental lapses, this book takes a unique look at key barriers to social and political advancement in the information age. Public discourse is replete with confident, easy to manage claims, intuitions, and other shortcuts; outstanding of these is trivialization, the trend to distill multifaceted dilemmas to binary choices, neglect the big picture, gloss over alternatives, or filter reality through a lens of convenience—leaving little room for nuance and hence debate. Far from superficial, such lapses are symptoms of deeper, intrinsically connected shortcomings inviting further attention. Focusing primarily on industrialized democracies, the authors take their readers on a transdisciplinary journey into the world of trivialization, engaging as they do so the intricate issues borne of a modern environment both enabled and constrained by technology. Ultimately, the authors elaborate upon the emerging counterweights to conventional worldviews and the paradigmatic alternatives that promise to help open new avenues for progress.


cognitive style complexity public discourse public policy systemic lapse trivialization reductionism

Authors and affiliations

  • Oldrich Bubak
    • 1
  • Henry Jacek
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-17924-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-17925-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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