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Social Trends in American Life – Findings from the General Social Survey since 1972 - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Social Trends in American Life: Findings from the General Social Survey since 1972

Peter V. Marsden


This book assembles a team of leading researchers to provide unparalleled insight into how American social attitudes and behaviors have changed since the 1970s. Drawing on the General Social Survey—a social science project that has tracked demographic and attitudinal trends in the United States since 1972—it offers a window into diverse facets of American life, from intergroup relations to political views and orientations, social affiliations, and perceived well-being. Among the book's many important findings are the greater willingness of ordinary Americans to accord rights of free expression ... More

Keywords: social attitudes, behavior, American life, General Social Survey, free expression, racial equality, political conservatism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780691133317
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691133317.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Peter V. Marsden, editor
Harvard University

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1 Introduction and Overview

Peter V. Marsden

Trends in Social and Political Orientations

3 The Real Record on Racial Attitudes

Lawrence D. Bobo, Camille Z. Charles, Maria Krysan, and Alicia D. Simmons

4 Gender Role Attitudes since 1972

Karen E. Campbell and Peter V. Marsden

5 Public Opinion in the “Age of Reagan”

Jeff Manza, Jennifer A. Heerwig, and Brian J. McCabe

6 Crime, Punishment, and Social Disorder

James D. Wright, Jana L. Jasinski, and Drew Noble Lanier

Changes in Confidence and Connections

9 Trends in Informal Social Participation, 1974–2008

Peter V. Marsden and Sameer B. Srivastava

Stability and Flux in Social Indicators

10 Income, Age, and Happiness in America

Glenn Firebaugh and Laura Tach

11 Religion and Happiness

Michael Hout and Andrew Greeley