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Beliefs About Social Stratification, 1980: [United States] (ICPSR 8702)

Principal Investigator(s): Kluegel, James R.; Smith, Eliot R.


The purpose of this study was to describe and test hypotheses about Americans' beliefs regarding inequality. The survey investigated beliefs about causes of wealth and poverty, opportunity, and inequality, plus perceptions of fairness and the necessity of income inequality. Included in the survey were questions on self-perceived social class (poor, working, middle, upper-middle, upper), beliefs about differences between social classes, attitudes toward different social classes, and beliefs about discrimination against Blacks, other minorities, and women. The survey also collected information on political preferences, employment, marital status, educational attainment, religion, religiosity, age, sex, income, and satisfaction with life in general.

Access Notes

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    One or more files in this collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more.

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Study Description


Kluegel, James R., and Eliot R. Smith. Beliefs About Social Stratification, 1980: [United States]. ICPSR08702-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08702.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08702.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (NSF: SES 8016995,)
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH: MH32083)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    discrimination, poverty, social classes, social inequality, social stratification

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1980

Date of Collection:   

  • 1980

Universe:    Adults in the United States ages 18 and over.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Users should note that the documentation for this study is incomplete.

The variable SPIND (a numeric variable) contains embedded blanks.


Sample:    Three samples were selected: a representative sample (1,507 cases), a Black oversample (402 cases), and an affluent oversample (303 cases).

Data Source:

telephone interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   2001-02-01

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