Social Trends in American Life: Findings from the General Social Survey since 1972

Overview

"Social Trends in American Life provides a comprehensive examination of the dynamics and roots of some of the most contested issues in U.S. society. The decline of community, the increasing tolerance of difference, and the wavering trust in societal institutions are addressed. Focusing on connections and conditions, this volume offers a nuanced look at what we have thought, felt, and done over the last forty years."—Bernice A. Pescosolido, Indiana University

"Every social scientist, even those not usually ...

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Social Trends in American Life: Findings from the General Social Survey since 1972

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Overview

"Social Trends in American Life provides a comprehensive examination of the dynamics and roots of some of the most contested issues in U.S. society. The decline of community, the increasing tolerance of difference, and the wavering trust in societal institutions are addressed. Focusing on connections and conditions, this volume offers a nuanced look at what we have thought, felt, and done over the last forty years."—Bernice A. Pescosolido, Indiana University

"Every social scientist, even those not usually interested in attitudes or survey measures of behavior, should read this book as a springboard to thinking about the shifting sands of our social fabric, and the value of assessing it through a consistent mechanism."—Lynn Smith-Lovin, Duke University

"Social Trends in American Life represents a significant statement by many excellent scholars about many areas of change in American society over the past forty years. The treatment of attitude change is comprehensive and shows off the strengths of the unique national resource that is the General Social Survey."—Jeremy Freese, Northwestern University

"This book is a superb compendium of original empirical findings on important trends in American social and economic life, all interpreted by leading scholars. Social Trends in American Life is the gold standard against which all other attempts to document social facts and social trends will be judged."—Stephen L. Morgan, Cornell University

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
An important book that should be on every social scientist's desk.
From the Publisher
"An important book that should be on every social scientist's desk."—Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691155906
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 8/26/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 1,291,232
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter V. Marsden is the Edith and Benjamin Geisinger Professor of Sociology, Harvard College Professor, and Dean of Social Science at Harvard University. He coedited the second edition of the "Handbook of Survey Research".

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix
Contributors xiii

1 Introduction and Overview 1
Peter V. Marsden

Trends in Social and Political Orientations

2 On the Seemingly Relentless Progress in Americans' Support for Free
Expression, 1972-2006 19
James A. Davis

3 The Real Record on Racial Attitudes 38
Lawrence D. Bobo, Camille Z. Charles, Maria Krysan, and Alicia D. Simmons

4 Gender Role Attitudes since 1972: Are Southerners Distinctive? 84
Karen E. Campbell and Peter V. Marsden

5 Public Opinion in the "Age of Reagan": Political Trends 1972-2006 117
Jeff Manza, Jennifer A. Heerwig, and Brian J. McCabe

6 Crime, Punishment, and Social Disorder: Crime Rates and Trends in Public Opinion over More Than Three Decades 146
James D. Wright, Jana L. Jasinski, and Drew Noble Lanier

Changes in Confidence and Connections

7 Trends in Confidence in Institutions, 1973-2006 177
Tom W. Smith

8 Continuity and Change in American Religion, 1972-2008 212
Mark Chaves and Shawna Anderson

9 Trends in Informal Social Participation, 1974-2008 240
Peter V. Marsden and Sameer B. Srivastava

Stability and Flux in Social Indicators

10 Income, Age, and Happiness in America 267
Glenn Firebaugh and Laura Tach

11 Religion and Happiness 288
Michael Hout and Andrew Greeley

12 Labor Force Insecurity and U.S. Work Attitudes, 1970s-2006 315
Arne L. Kalleberg and Peter V. Marsden

13 Population Trends in Verbal Intelligence in the United States 338
Duane F. Alwin and Julianna Pacheco

Appendix: The General Social Survey Project 369
Peter V. Marsden and Tom W. Smith

Index 379

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