JJOE SIX-PACK The mythical common person, ordinary guy, man in the
street. Joe Six-pack is the rank and file citizen who views public affairs in a
simple, uncomplicated way. Politicians use the term to ask: how do the Joe
Six-packs of the world look at this, or, how do we explain this to Joe Six-pack?
He is a composite figure, but the term Joe Six-pack often refers to working-class
people, blue-collar workers, and the middle class--literally, the type of person
who supposedly buys beer by the six-pack.The contours of Joe Six-pack's mind have not been precisely mapped, but
four characteristics are prominent:
|1. ||Is not very interested in public affairs, nor very knowledgeable about
|2. ||Possesses a direct, uncomplicated view of public life,|
|3. ||Holds opinions that tend to be conservative,|
|4. ||Is especially sensitive to tax increases and social spending.|
Thinking about public opinion from the perspective of Joe Six-pack can be
liberating. It provides fresh perspective on public issues, and inoculates against
overreliance on conventional wisdom and so-called informed opinion. Keeping
Joe Six-pack in mind also helps opinion analysts to translate concepts and ideas
The downside to linking public opinion to Joe Six-pack is that the
stereotype falls far short of reality: the image is misleading and elitist.
Ordinary Joes (and Janes) are not all selfish, insular people who ignore public
affairs and eschew serious political debate. Moreover, virtually everyone
becomes concerned with issues that matter to them, and are capable of working
through even complex issues when convinced they are important. See also RESPONDENT; SALIENCE.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Dictionary of Polling:The Language of Contemporary Opinion Research.
Contributors: Michael L. Young - Author.
Publisher: Greenwood Press.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1992.
Page number: 105.
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