Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: August 17, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959216 | Print ISBN: 9781412959209 | Online ISBN: 9781412959216| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jon D. Miller
The term attentive public refers to a group of individuals within a society who have a high level of interest in a subject or issue and who believe that they are reasonably well informed about that subject. The term is a part of a broader conceptualization of issue specialization first advanced by Gabriel Almond in 1950 in regard to public awareness and involvement in foreign policy issues. Donald Devine applied the concept to politics generally, defining an attentive public for politics; although this application of the attentive public has not been carried forward in the literature, there is still substantial attention paid to individuals who do not vote and abstain from the political process. Further, the concept is very useful to science communicators because it defines one important audience and may be helpful in thinking about the level of communication appropriate to this audience. Jon Miller and Kenneth Prewitt applied ...