Racial Attitudes in Fifteen American Cities, 1968

To summarize:


This study explores attitudes and perceptions related to urban problems and race relations in 15 northern cities of the United States (Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Gary, Milwaukee, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Washington, DC). More specifically, it seeks to define the social and psychological characteristics and aspirations of the Black and White urban populations. Samples of Blacks and Whites were selected in each of the cities in early 1968. The study employed two questionnaire forms, one for Whites and one for Blacks, and two corresponding data files were generated. Attitudinal questions asked of the White and Black respondents measured their satisfaction with community services, their feelings about the effectiveness of government in solving urban problems, and their experience with police abuse. Additional questions about the respondent’s familiarity with and participation in antipoverty programs were included. Other questions centered on the respondent’s opinions about the 1967 riots: the main causes, the purpose, the major participating classes, and the effect of the riots on the Black cause. Respondents’ interracial relationships, their attitudes toward integration, and their perceptions of the hostility between the races were also investigated. White respondents were asked about their opinions on the use of governmental intervention as a solution for various problems of the Blacks, such as substandard schools, unemployment, and unfair housing practices. Respondent’s reactions to nonviolent and violent protests by Blacks, their acceptance of counter-rioting by Whites and their ideas concerning possible governmental action to prevent further rioting were elicited. Inquiries were made as to whether or not the respondent had given money to support or hinder the Black cause. Other items investigated respondents’ perceptions of racial discrimination in jobs, education, and housing, and their reactions to working under or living next door to a Black person. Black respondents were asked about their perceptions of discrimination in hiring, promotion, and housing, and general attitudes toward themselves and towards Blacks in general. The survey also investigated respondents’ past participation in civil rights organizations and in nonviolent and/or violent protests, their sympathy with rioters, and the likelihood of personal participation in a future riot. Other questions probed respondents’ attitudes toward various civil rights leaders along with their concurrence with statements concerning the meaning of “Black power.” Demographic variables include sex and age of the respondent, and the age and relationship to the respondent of each person in the household, as well as information about the number of persons in the household, their race, and the type of structure in which they lived. Additional demographic topics include the occupational and educational background of the respondent, of the respondent’s family head, and of the respondent’s father. The respondent’s family income and the amount of that income earned by the head of the family were obtained, and it was determined if any of the family income came from welfare, Social Security, or veteran’s benefits. This study also ascertained the place of birth of the respondent and respondent’s mother and father, in order to measure the degree of southern influence. Other questions investigated the respondent’s military background, religious preference, marital status, and family composition.

Unique variables include “respondent lives in suburb,” “respondent’s satisfaction with neighborhood parks,” and “respondent’s participation in riots or protests.”

Shared Dataset Variables

Variable Name Description
AGEPERSON age of a person (only) in a dataset
BIRTHDETAILS records particulars of birth (location/method of delivery/complications/enumeration of child born)
BIRTHYEAR year of birth of a person in a dataset
BUILDINGDETAILS particulars of type of house/building (amenities/function/ownership/integrity)
CITIZENSHIP citizenship of an individual (us/foreign or specific country of citizenship)
DAY the day of an event or occurrence (not related to a person's life event)
EDUCATIONPERSON educational level attained by an individual
EMPLOYMENTSTATUS generally recorded as whether in paid employment or not
ETHNICITY ethnicity of a person in a dataset
FAMILYDETAILS information pertaining to size and makeup of family or household
GENDER gender of a person in a dataset
INCIDENCECRIMEPERSON measurement of a crime committed by or afflicted on a person
INCIDENCECRIMEPLACE variables that measure some kind of law violation linked to a place (not to a person)
INCOMEPERSON income of an individual
MARRIAGESTATUS records marriage status using booleans (yes or no) or married/not married/widowed/etc.
MIGRATIONDATE date of emigration or immigration or some kind of movement
MONETARYVALUE monetary value or cost of goods/services/real estate
MONTH the month of an event or occurrence (not related to a person's life event)
NATIVITYCITY birthplace of individual or of parent(s) of individual
NATIVITYCOUNTRY birthplace of individual or of parent(s) of individual
NATIVITYSTATEUS birthplace of individual or of parent(s) of individual
OCCUPATION occupation of an individual
PLACEADDRESS an address recorded in a dataset
PLACECITY the named city that is being measured in a dataset
PLACECOUNTRY the named country that is being measured in a dataset
PLACESTATEUS the named state (us) that is being measured in a dataset
POLITICALAFFILIATIONPERSON the political affiliation of a person
POPULATIONCITY the population of a city that is being measured in a dataset
POPULATIONCOUNTRY the population of a country that is being measured in a dataset
POPULATIONSTATE the population of a state (us) that is being measured in a dataset
RACE race assigned to a person in a dataset
RELIGIONPERSON the religious affiliation of a person
YEAR the year of an event or occurrence (not related to a person's life event)