German Social Survey (ALLBUS), 1998 (ICPSR 34858) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The German Social Survey monitors social trends in Germany. The central topics of the 1998 survey were assessments of the economic health of individual households and the nation as a whole, recreation and lifestyle choices, and political opinions and activities. Respondents were asked to give their evaluations of the current state of the German economy and its prospects in the near future, as well as evaluations of their own households' current and prospective economic well-being. Included in the latter evaluation were respondents' fears of future unemployment. On another topic, respondents were asked to weigh the relative importance in their lives of family and children, work, free time and recreation, friends and acquaintances, religion and church affiliation, and politics and other forms of civic life. Questions probed for which activities occupied respondents' free time, and what their personal tastes were in entertainment and lifestyle. Specifically, respondents were queried as to the form of television reception they utilized (cable, satellite dish, etc.), the kinds of television shows that interested them (news, sports, cultural presentations, films, etc.), the frequency of newspaper reading, the sections of a newspaper that interested them most, and the number and titles of other periodicals they regularly read. Respondents were also asked to assess the credibility of various media sources, and to identify which ones were their primary sources for news and political discourse. Regarding political opinion and thought, questions focused on level of respondents' political activity (frequency of voting, party and candidate work, involvement in citizen initiatives and demonstrations, and the use of violence as a form of political expression), and the resulting perceptions of political influence or alienation. Opinions were solicited on the relative benefits and disadvantages of democratic forms of government versus nondemocratic forms, on national problems that demand government attention (inflation, environmental protection, peace and order, immigration, crime, unemployment, etc.) and their order of priority according to the Inglehart Post-Materialism Index, and on social inequalities and their causes. Special emphasis was given to the problems of German reunification. Respondents were asked whether more sacrifices were needed from former West Germans or whether more patience was needed from former East Germans to help ease reunification strains. They were also asked who had benefited most from reunification so far, Easterners or Westerners. In addition, opinions were solicited on the readiness of the East for democracy, the differences between Germans of both former states, and socialism as an idea. Basic demographic characteristics of respondents were also collected, such as age, gender, education, occupation, religion, national origin, trade union membership, personal and household income, household size and composition, and marital status.

Access Notes

  • These data are not available from ICPSR. Users should consult the data owners directly (via German Social Survey (ALLBUS), 1998) for details on obtaining the data and documentation.

Study Description

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   German reunification, household budgets, information sources, life satisfaction, lifestyles, national economy, personal finances, political attitudes, political participation, public opinion, recreation, social attitudes, social issues, social values, socioeconomic status

Geographic Coverage:   Germany, Global

Time Period:  

  • 1998

Data Collection Notes:

These data are not available from ICPSR. Users should consult the data owners directly for details on obtaining the data and documentation.

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