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Public Opinion and Legal Consciousness

Scholars and policy makers debate how best to document and critically examine the attitudes and opinions that ordinary citizens undoubtedly have about law, legal institutions, and legal actors. Public opinion is important to study because a democratic government is supposed to be responsive to popular opinion in policy decisions. The study of legal consciousness helps us understand how people think about law and the linkages between attitudes, meaning-making, and actions. Law's capacity to intervene in social problems is dependent on people's willingness to turn to the law to solve their problems. As such, public opinion and legal consciousness have important implications in the conception of law's capacity for social change.

Public Opinion

The term public opinion refers to individuals' collective responses as revealed in public opinion polls. ...

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