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Social Trends in American LifeFindings from the General Social Survey since 1972$
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Peter V. Marsden

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133317

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133317.001.0001

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Introduction and Overview

Introduction and Overview

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Introduction and Overview
Source:
Social Trends in American Life
Author(s):

Peter V. Marsden

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691133317.003.0001

This book reports on social trends among U.S. adults between the early 1970s and the first decade of the 21st century. The chapters cover social and political phenomena arrayed across a wide spectrum. Some investigate and interpret changes in salient sociopolitical attitudes. Others ask whether confidence in major American institutions fell, or if connections to religious groups or other persons waned. Still others study shifts in how adults assessed their well-being as economic, political, and social conditions in U.S. society underwent sometimes-dramatic change. The 12 studies that follow rest on survey data assembled by the General Social Survey (GSS) project since 1972. This introductory chapter first provides context for these studies, drawing on prior research about change in the U.S. social, political, and economic landscape since the 1970s. Next comes an overview of this book's content, including some remarks about related GSS-based trend studies on other topics. It closes by briefly calling attention to the variety of approaches and explanations that the authors use when offering accounts for the patterns of change they report.

Keywords:   social trends, American adults, General Social Survey, American life, sociopolitical attitudes, U.S. society

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