In sociology, the popularity of a person, idea, item or other concept can be defined in terms of liking, attraction, dominance and superiority.
Popularity is the quality of being well-liked.
- There is nothing which a prudent man must shun more carefully than living with a view to popularity and giving serious thought to the things esteemed by the multitude, instead of making sound reason his guide of life, so that, even if he must gainsay all men and fall into disrepute and incur danger for the sake of what is honourable, he will in no wise choose to swerve from what has been recognized as right.
- Basil of Caesarea, On Greek Literature, p. 429.
- Their poet, a sad trimmer, but no less
In company a very pleasant fellow,
Had been the favorite of full many a mess
Of men, and made them speeches when half mellow;
And though his meaning they could rarely guess,
Yet still they deign'd to hiccup or to bellow
The glorious meed of popular applause,
Of which the first ne'er knows the second cause.
- Some shout him, and some hang upon his car,
To gaze in his eyes, and bless him. Maidens wave
Their 'kerchiefs, and old women weep for joy;
While others, not so satisfied, unhorse
The gilded equipage, and turning loose
His steeds, usurp a place they well deserve.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book VI, line 708.
- We have aimed at popularity in the best sense of that term. The truly popular writer never sinks into the vulgar crowd. He rather raises the masses by bringing the highest subjects within their comprehension, making them, without a show of erudition, easily understood.
- Ernst von Feuchtersleben, The Dietetics of the Soul; Or, True Mental Discipline (1838), p. 4.
- εἰ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου ἦτε, ὁ κόσμος ἂν τὸ ἴδιον ἐφίλει· ὅτι δὲ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου οὐκ ἐστέ, ἀλλ’ ἐγὼ ἐξελεξάμην ὑμᾶς ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου, διὰ τοῦτο μισεῖ ὑμᾶς ὁ κόσμος.
- And to some men popularity is always suspicious. Enjoying none themselves, they are prone to suspect the validity of those attainments which command it.
- George Henry Lewes, The Spanish Drama (1846), Chapter III.
- Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you!
- Luke 6:26.
- Popularity is a crime from the moment it is sought: it is only a virtue where men have it, whether they will or no. It is generally an appeal to the people from the sentence given by men of sense.
- George Savile, Marquess of Halifax, “Moral Thoughts and Reflections,” Complete Works (Oxford:1912), p. 232.
- All tongues speak of him, and the bleared sights
Are spectacled to see him.
- I have seen the dumb men throng to see him, and
The blind to hear him speak: matrons flung gloves,
Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchers
Upon him as he passed; the nobles bended,
As to Jove's statue, and the commons made
A shower and thunder with their caps and shouts.
- Or art thou base, common and popular?
- There was ease in Casey's manner as he stept into his place,
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face,
And when responding to the cheers he lightly doft his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt, 't was Casey at the bat.
- Ernest L. Thayer, Casey at the Bat (1888).
- If a man despises the applause of the crowd of today, it is because he seeks to survive in renewed minorities for generations. ... He wishes to prolong himself in time rather than in space. The crowd soon overthrows its own idols and the statue lies broken at the foot of the pedestal without anyone heeding it; but those who win the hearts of the elect will long be the objects of a fervent worship in some shrine, small and secluded no doubt, but capable of preserving them from the flood of oblivion.
- Miguel de Unamuno, Tragic Sense of Life (1913)