Trends in Public Opinion by
Location: Mugar Memorial Library Stacks (HN90.P8 N53 1989 )
Publication Date: 1989-11-09
Polls are at their best as indicators of public opinion when they allow comparisons over extended periods of time. Yet all too often changes in question working and in questionnare content make over-time comparisons impossible. This work overcomes this difficulty by bringing together for the first time a compendium of results using identically worded questions on a wide range of social, political, and economic topics of importance to the American people. Chapter introductions summarize trends in the various areas surveyed and discuss problems of interpretation. The chapters on political behavior and attitudes present findings on party identification, political tolerance, voting, civil liberties, international affairs, and related issues. Chapters on work, the family, and sexuality cover such topics as job prestige and satisfaction, the role of women, divorce, family size, sex education, abortion, premarital and extramarital sex, homosexuality, and pornography. Other issues addressed include crime and violence, race, death and dying, life style, and general attitudes toward life. Trend analysis based on General Social Surveys conducted regularly by The National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago since 1972 is supplemented by data from 25 other sources extending as far back as the 1930s. The questions chosen are meaningful and standardized and have been asked in interviews over a significant period. Survey results are displayed in a highly readable format that facilitates comparisons over time.