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“There Ought to Be a Law!”: Understanding Community Sentiment

  • Monica K. Miller
  • Jared Chamberlain
Chapter

Abstract

Whether it is the results of a national poll, a public demonstration, a Facebook post, or an op-ed article in the newspaper, it is difficult to go through a day and not be exposed to some form of community sentiment. At the very basic level, sentiment is one’s attitude toward or opinion about some attitude object, whether it is sentiment toward the president’s performance, whether laws should be enacted to restrict guns, or what should be included in school curriculum. Most people have opinions about a wide variety of issues, people, and things in their environment. Although the concept of community sentiment is very broad, this book is an attempt at consolidating knowledge about sentiment into one place. To narrow the focus of the book, we have chosen to focus on community sentiment toward laws and policies that affect children and families. The book first tackles some basic issues in this introduction chapter: What is a community? What is sentiment, how is it measured, and what influences it? Does—and should—sentiment affect laws and policies? After this introductory chapter, several chapters discuss how sentiment is measured and how it can change. Next, the book offers perspectives on how legal actions that conform with sentiment promote positive and negative perceptions of justice. Other chapters discuss how laws that have received positive sentiment can sometimes have negative and unintended outcomes. The book closes with a summary of the common themes and directions for future research in community sentiment.

Keywords

Death Penalty Procedural Justice Legal Action Implicit Association Test Moral Panic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeUniversity of Nevada, RenoRenoUSA
  2. 2.Arizona School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, PhoenixPhoenixUSA

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