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Ethnic Collective Action in Contemporary Urban United States -- Data on Conflicts and Protests, 1954-1992 (ICPSR 34341)

Principal Investigator(s): Olzak, Susan, Stanford University


This project seeks to identify sources of ethnic and racial conflict and protest in urban America from 1954 through 1992. The data on collective events are coded using The New York Times. Detailed coding rules produced a chronological dataset that allows researchers to:

  1. Analyze the location and timing of both conflicts (confrontations between two or more ethnic populations) and protests (marches, mass meetings, demonstrations on behalf of one ethnic group, expressing grievances related to discrimination or racial policy).

  2. Specifically analyze a type of protest (e.g., civil rights movement activity, or urban race riots) and the potential dynamic relationship of different types of protests and conflicts.

  3. Identify any ethnic, nationality, or racial characteristics of participants who were the targets and/or instigators of each protest and conflict.

  4. Analyze information on each event's location, size, targets, police presence, arrests, damage or injuries, and the content of claims directed against government authorities, police, and other groups.

Access Notes

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Study Description


Olzak, Susan. Ethnic Collective Action in Contemporary Urban United States -- Data on Conflicts and Protests, 1954-1992. ICPSR34341-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-03-04.

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation. Sociology Program (SES-9196229)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    ethnic discrimination, ethnic tensions, metropolitan statistical areas, protest demonstrations, racial discrimination, racial tensions, social protest, urban areas

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1954--1992

Date of Collection:   

  • 1991--1995

Unit of Observation:    Individual ethnic and racial protest and conflict events.

Universe:    The universe of this study encompasses all ethnic and racial protest and conflict events taking place between 1954-1992 within urban areas in the United States, as reported daily in The New York Times.

Data Type(s):    event/transaction data

Data Collection Notes:

Data were collected from newspaper articles in The New York Times Index and daily microfilms. See the Project Description and Coding Manual for the coding scheme used.

This dataset does not have geographic units of analysis, but all events took place in Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA), in the United States.


Sample:    See the Project Description and Coding Manual for full information on how possible events were located using The New York Times Index.

Data Source:

The New York Times


Original ICPSR Release:   2015-03-04

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