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Detroit Area Study, 1968: Black Attitudes in Detroit (ICPSR 7324)

Principal Investigator(s): Schuman, Howard


This study sampled Black households within the city of Detroit in the spring and summer of 1968 and interviewed the head of household or spouse of the head of household. The study examined contact between Blacks and Whites and the views of Blacks regarding Black militancy, community control, Black consciousness, and anti-White sentiments. Questions included in the interview determined the number and type of contacts respondents had with whites, the respondents' attitudes toward child-rearing, and political activities at neighborhood churches. Perceptions of various local problems were probed, including the effects of the 1967 Detroit riots. Respondents were also asked about the best means for Blacks to gain their rights and reasons for the high unemployment rate in Detroit. Other topics covered respondents' experiences with and awareness of racial discrimination in the areas of housing, local police activities, business relations, and job opportunities. Background information on respondents includes age, sex, race, marital status, religious affiliation, and church activities. The respondent's residence up to age 10, length of residence in Detroit and in their current neighborhood, and the racial composition of the neighborhood were ascertained. Respondent's educational level, the racial composition of schools the respondent attended, and respondent's service in the military were also recorded. Other demographic information was gathered regarding the number of adults and children living in the household, as well as the number of rooms in the house, family income, and income sources. The respondent was also asked about the educational levels and occupations of other family members.

More information about the Detroit Area Studies Project is available on this Web site.

Series: Detroit Area Studies Series

Access Notes

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Study Description


Schuman, Howard. Detroit Area Study, 1968: Black Attitudes in Detroit. ICPSR07324-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1997.

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This study was funded by:

  • University of Michigan

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    African Americans, Black militancy, Black White relations, cities, civil rights, community power, Detroit riots (1967), economic behavior, families, household composition, minorities, neighborhood characteristics, political activities, racial attitudes, racial discrimination, racial tensions, social integration

Geographic Coverage:    Detroit, Michigan, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1968

Date of Collection:   

  • 1968 (Spring and Summer)

Universe:    Individuals living in Black dwelling units in the city of Detroit during the spring and summer of 1968.

Data Type(s):    survey data


Sample:    A sample of Black dwelling units from the city of Detroit was drawn by multistage probability methods during the spring and summer of 1968. There were 619 completed interviews, yielding a response rate of 82.9 percent. Upper-income areas were sampled at twice the rate of low-income areas. The socioeconomic status (SES) variable (V3) should be used to weight the low-income segments to estimate population values. Use of this weight variable results in a sample size of 844. Also, there is a sex weight variable (V22) which, when used with the SES variable, results in a sample size of 1,039. (The original investigator states that use of the sex weight variable is not necessary in most instances.) In addition to the Black sample, a cross-section of 185 whites from suburban Detroit was drawn, but is not included in the ICPSR dataset.

Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-10

Version History:

  • 1997-11-04 The SPSS data definition statements for this collection are being reissued with minor editing changes, and SAS data definition statements are now available. In addition, the codebook has been converted to a machine-readable (PDF) file, and the data were reformatted and are being released only in logical record length format.

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