Measuring Attitudes Cross-Nationally: Lessons from the European Social Survey

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Winner of the 2006 The Descartes Prize “for excellence in collaborative scientific research”

With the expansion of the European Union and the development of supra-national governance worldwide, the volume of cross-national data and the importance of rigorous comparative analysis has grown rapidly.

This book, written by members of the design and implementation team for the groundbreaking European Social Survey (ESS), reviews current best practice in the conduct of cross-national, cross-cultural quantitative research. The first eight chapters cover the background and rationale for the Survey and offer a detailed analysis of the methods and procedures used, as well as exploring ways to overcome the obstacles to successful cross-national research. The final chapter looks ahead to future comparative surveys and discusses the lessons that can be learned from the ESS.

As well as examining methodological issues, Measuring Attitudes Cross-Nationally includes four substantive chapters on the findings of the ESS, including the emergence of hitherto unknown national differences in values regarding immigration and perceptions of citizenship. The ESS data is also considered in comparison with that from US General Social Survey.

Measuring Attitudes Cross-Nationally offers a practical guide, firmly grounded in theory, for researchers across the social sciences who have an interest the design, planning or interpretation of cross-national social surveys.



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About the author

We were very sorry to hear that Sir Roger Jowell passed away over Christmas. Roger was the Founder and Director of the National Centre for Social Research, Britain’s largest social research institute until 2001, and in 2008 was knighted for his services to the social sciences. We were very privileged to have worked with Roger as an author and friend for many years, most notably on one of his legacy works, the British Social Attitudes report series. In 1983 when it first launched, it was already a significant undertaking, surveying 1700 people in its first year. In an era where surveys were ad hoc and sporadic, work like this made it clear how important tracking opinion and trends over time would be. Writing in that first edition, Roger wrote: “The term ‘public opinion’ is in itself misleading. Our data demonstrate that on nearly all social issues there are actually several publics and many opinions.” Published by SAGE since 2000 it is now in its 28th volume and continues to be just as challenging, and as important. Roger was also co-founder and Director of the European Social Survey (ESS), a 34-nation comparative study of changing social values throughout Europe. We published the initial book of methods and findings: Measuring Attitudes Cross-Nationally: Lessons from the European Social Survey in 2007. A key figure for the social sciences he was also, simply, an extremely nice man and a pleasure to work with. He will be greatly missed.

I am an applied environmental scientist with specific interests in sustainable water resource management. Iam also the Director of the Technology Strategy Board-funded ‘Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network’ (ESKTN), based at the University of Oxford. * The ESKTN is accelerating the UK’s transition to a low carbon, resource and energy efficient economy by connecting businesses, universities and Government agencies, and catalysing innovation across a wide range of environmental technologies. I have also been a frequent expert witness in Public Inquiries and Crown Court. Most recently I was the Technical Adviser to Gloucestershire County Council following the severe flooding in summer 2007, and I continue to advise local authorities on flooding. The Gloucestershire event was the largest civil emergency in the UK, ever; and this project explore this theme further. I was previously Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Sciences at the University of Gloucestershire and Director of the Centre for Active Learning.

Mr Rory Fitzgerald has been a Senior Research Fellow at City University London since 2004 and became Deputy Director of its Centre for Comparative Social Surveys in 2007. He plays a lead role in the design, management and overall coordination of the European Social Survey (ESS) and a senior member of its Central Coordinating Team (CCT). The ESS is a rigorous comparative survey of changing attitudes and values in and between 34 European countries. With other members of the CCT he was awarded the Descartes prize in 2005 for 'excellence in collaborative scientific research'.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SAGE
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Published on
Apr 2, 2007
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781848604964
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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