Reability of Public Opinion Polls in China

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Senior Lecturer
Affiliation: Southeast University
Address: Jiangsu Province, Nanjing, PRC
Occupation: Senior Research Fellow; Associate Prof. at the Department of Sociology
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS
RUDN University
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 3

The current international situation has increased the importance of analyzing public opinion in the PRC. But the specificity of Chinese society allows critics of the PRC to put forward arguments (lack of a “democratic public”, self-censorship of respondents, suspicions regarding political censorship, non-representative samples) against such an enterprise. This article systematically examines and refutes these arguments. The undertaken analysis shows that they are either easily overcome, since they are based on fragmentary data, or, with no less reason, should be addressed to all studies of public opinion in the world. This makes it possible to rely on polling data in the PRC and analyze public opinion trends with their help, although such an analysis should take into account the likelihood of self-censorship of respondents, common for any society, and the fact that most samples in China represent, first of all, the most active urban population.

Keywordspublic opinion, PRC, self-censorship, reliability of surveys, samples’ representativity
AcknowledgmentCo-author of this article Li Qin was supported by Fundamental Research Funds for Chinese Central Universities (Project No. 2242020S20050 and Project No. 2242020R10030) and Jiangsu Province Project «Double Creative PhD» (JSSCBS202030305).
Publication date07.04.2023
Number of characters14011
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