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Social Bases of West German Politics, 1953 (ICPSR 7104)

Principal Investigator(s): UNESCO Institut fur Sozialwissenschaften


This study, conducted in West Germany prior to the federal election in September 1953, covered four main areas: politics, the respondents' occupational background, family relations, and social relations. Respondents were asked about their intended vote in 1953 and their past vote in 1949. Additional questions explored the extent of the respondents' political information and political interest, and how often and with whom they discussed politics. The occupational background section of the interview probed whether respondents had achieved their occupational goals in life. Employed respondents were queried about their occupational histories and job satisfaction, while unemployed respondents were asked about their interest in entering the labor force. Another portion of the study inquired about the respondents' relationships with their families. Variables assessed whether the respondents lived with relatives or shared financial support. The interview also asked about discussions between husbands and wives, and whether they shared opinions. The fourth major area covered by the study ascertained how frequently and with whom the respondents had long talks, discussed personal problems, or wrote letters. This section also surveyed the respondents' membership and activity in voluntary associations and church-related initiatives. The personal data section of the interview covered the education, income, marital status, sex, age, and religious preference of each respondent. Additional items provide information about the respondents' geographic mobility and place of residence.

Access Notes

Study Description


UNESCO Institut fur Sozialwissenschaften. Social Bases of West German Politics, 1953. ICPSR07104-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-08-15. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07104.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07104.v2

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This study was funded by:

  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    attitudes, elections, family life, interpersonal communication, job history, job satisfaction, job security, opinions, party membership, political awareness, political participation, social contact, social networks, voter attitudes, work attitudes

Geographic Coverage:    Germany, Global

Time Period:   

  • 1953

Date of Collection:   

  • 1953-07--1953-08

Universe:    Citizens 18-79 years of age in the Federal Republic of Germany, registered in the community central registry of inhabitants ("Einwohnermeldekartei"). Persons living in private households and group quarters were included in the sample, as well as institutional populations.

Data Type(s):    survey data


Sample:    A stratified, multistage, random sampling procedure was utilized in this study. The sample was drawn in three stages: first, the sampling points were designated, then households were chosen within each sampling point, and finally, individuals were selected within each household.

Weight:    The study contains a weight variable (V3) that produces a representative sample of citizens of the Federal Republic 18-79 years of age when used in analysis. The weight variable corrects for sex and age biases in the sample, and was constructed by comparing the age by sex distribution of the sample with the census distribution. The weighted N for this sample is 3,256.8.

Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-06-19

Version History:

  • 2006-08-15 This study has been updated from OSIRIS and now includes SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files, a SAS transport (XPORT) file, a SPSS portable file, and a Stata system file.