Lunch event with Eskil Vesterlund

Tuesday 30 May 2023, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Opinion polls in media history

The research group Patterns of Political Interaction organises a lunch event with Eskil Vesterlund (PhD candidate, Lund University), on the topic of ‘Opinion polls as media history’. Vesterlund is a visiting researcher at the Political History expertise group.

‘In my dissertation project, a media-historical perspective is applied to the “Gallup polls” – sample-based opinion polls – that were introduced and popularized in Sweden in the 1940s and 1950s. By analysing the Gallup poll as a medium, the aim is to uncover how this then-new technology changed the conditions for how public opinion and other societal phenomena could be represented and known. In the dissertation, I examine how the polls were carried out, what role they filled in the Swedish press, how they were used for market research, and how this originally commercial technology was made scientific by the nascent social sciences of post-war Sweden. In this presentation, I will focus especially on how various public figures in Sweden discursively conceptualized the political meanings of this new way of representing society. Against the backdrop of ideological battles in post-war Sweden, issues of how and by whom public opinion was to be represented became highly contentious; was the Gallup poll a tool for increased democracy or a commercializing threat to the democratic institutions?’

*Please feel free to bring your own lunch*

Tuesday 30 May 2023, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Eskil Vesterlund, Location: Erasmus building, 2.11, Organisers: Research group Patterns of political interaction

For questions and registration, please send an email to Solange Ploeg at solange.ploeg [at]