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2014 Press Releases

Visiting journalist presents book to UCC Library

2 Oct 2014
Visiting journalist and lecturer Jaume Risquete (right) pictured with Ger Prendergast of UCC Library (Picture by Tom McCarthy)

Jaume Risquete, a journalist and lecturer in journalism at Blanquerna School of Communication-Ramon Llull University of Barcelona, has presented a book he wrote on communication theory to UCC Library.

The book was written in Catalan (the official language of Catalonia) and penned in the UCC Library during a sabbatical term in which Jaume was based in Cork.

‘Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann - La vigencia de l’Espiral del Silenci en la “societat xarxa’ (‘Elisabeth Noelle-Neuman - The validity of the Spiral of Silence Theory in the 'network society’) offers a deconstruction of this communication theory from the German sociologist and pollster Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann (Berlin, 1916: Allensbach, 2010).

The Spiral of Silence Theory is one of the most important political communication theories of the second part of twentieth century and it is also considered an important psycho-social theory.

The theory tries to explain the ‘bandwagon effect’ in political communication campaigns and the ‘last swing effect’ in elections. These concepts explain the possible inaccuracies of electoral polls.

This theory in Noelle-Neumann words is explained as follows:

“It is the combination of these two aspects that ensures integration and cohesion in a society, thus guaranteeing a society’s ability to make decisions and take action. According to this hypothesis, the individual members of a society constantly observe their environment, in order to see which opinions and modes of behaviour will win the approval of society and which will lead to their isolation. When one side in a political or social controversy is highly visible in public, other individuals adopt that position as well, displaying their convictions in public and thus reinforcing the impression that everyone else thinks that way too. When there is only low public visibility, there is a tendency for people to conceal their position in public, making this position appear even weaker than it really is and prompting others to fall silent as well”.

Jaume thanked the library staff for their support. He is also a researcher in political communication and is completing his PhD on “Ecosocialism, Political Communication and Postmodernity in Catalonia” and the validity of Spiral of Silence Theory in relation to the debate about a referendum on independence in Catalonia.

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