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Research on attentive publics has worked towards identifying who is considered attentive, how the attentive public is different from the general public, and how policy makers should take their views into consideration (Devine, 1970; Adler, 1984). Attentive publics are often the heart of social movements that engage society in a topic through increasing awareness and involvement. The attentive public is not a disconnected elite group, but average individuals who are more likely to be highly knowledgeable on a topic, sustain interest over time, and are more likely to participate as well as encourage others to participate in tangible actions. The size of an attentive public ebbs and flows over time, as society faces multiple issues at once, and it can take years of lobbying and engagement before any tangible results are seen at a higher level. One crime that has increased in awareness and importance is the issue of human trafficking. Accounts of men, women, and children being exploited for commercial sex or forced labor has become a hot topic of interest around the world, with estimates as high as 45.8 million people in some form of modern day slavery (Global Slavery Index, 2016). The current study uses a public opinion survey of Israeli citizens to identify if there is an attentive public, if its members are significantly different from the general and least-attentive public, and to better understand what factors of information sources, knowledge, concern, and efficacy influence an individual to get involved. The findings from this study do identify the existence of an attentive public in Israel. The attentive public is different from the general and least-attentive public on a few characteristics, but the most important one is increased efficacy. Findings suggest that use of information source and the frequency in which they report on trafficking have varying influences on knowledge, concern, efficacy, and involvement. Implications for future research are discussed.
Attentive Publics, Human Trafficking, Israel
Date of Defense
July 5, 2017.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice in partial fulfillment of the Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Marc G. Gertz, Professor Directing Dissertation; Martin Kavka, University Representative; Carter Hay, Committee Member; Sonja E. Siennick, Committee Member.
Florida State University
Russell, A. (2017). In Search of an Attentive Public and Involvement in the Anti-Trafficking Movement. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_SUMMER2017_Russell_fsu_0071E_14015