Detroit Area Study, 1992: Social Change in Detroit (ICPSR 2880)

Published: Dec 2, 2015

Principal Investigator(s):
Reynolds Farley, University of Michigan. Department of Sociology


Version V3

This survey focused on factors that influence social change in the Michigan tri-county area of Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties and the changes that have occurred over time with respect to different ethnic groups and women. Respondents' opinions were sought on issues such as job discrimination, including pay and promotion on the basis of race, ethnicity, or gender, factors that influence employers in hiring decisions, such as experience in line of work, formal education, references, looks and appearance, age, race, and gender, possible reasons for Blacks' having worse jobs, income, and housing than Whites, and factors that affect this situation, such as racial discrimination, perceived inferior ability, lack of educational opportunities, and lack of motivation on the part of Blacks. The survey also elicited respondents' views on factors influencing residential segregation, including the lack of affordable housing for African Americans and other ethnic minorities and the lack of Whites' acceptance of these ethnic minority groups in White neighborhoods. Other variables probed respondents' attitudes toward interracial marriage, segregated and desegregated schools, all-Black male and all-Black female public schools, nonviolent and violent means of social change among Blacks, government legislative measures such as the cut in welfare cost, parental approval for under-age abortion, the amount of federal taxes paid, and affirmative action for women and African Americans in job training, education, hiring, and promotion. Also explored were respondents' feelings about the quality of city and neighborhood services, public schools, crime, and the desirability of living in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties and some of the suburbs around Detroit. Additional variables examined respondents' views on comparative wealth and intelligence among ethnic groups such as Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Arab Americans, and Whites, the degree of discrimination toward Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, and women, and the high degree of self-reliance among immigrant groups and nationalities in the United States as compared to United States minorities such as African Americans. Questions on the respondents' educational background covered the level of education and professional qualifications. Additional information gathered by the survey includes duration of residence in the tri-county area and at the current residence, place of previous residence, employment status, place of employment, mode of transportation to work, income, current debts and assets, job benefits, previous military service, information on family and household members, religious denomination, presidential candidate preference, age, race, ethnicity, skin tone if Black, marital status, and gender.

Farley, Reynolds. Detroit Area Study, 1992:  Social Change in Detroit. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-12-02.

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Region (public use); City (restricted use)

The data in this collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. To protect respondent privacy, data and documentation are being released in separate public-use and restricted-use versions. The variables IWRNO, RCITY, A4, C6A, C6B, C6C, E4E, E7A, SPSAGE, MOMAGE, DADAGE, ADLT1AGE, ADLT2AGE, ADLT3AGE, CODERID, E1D1, E1C, E1D2, and F10 are only being made available in the restricted-use version. To obtain the restricted-use data and documentation researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Use Data Agreement in accordance with existing ICPSR servicing policies. Apply for access through the ICPSR restricted data contract portal.



Confidentiality/Disclosure Risk: To limit possible disclosure risk, the variables IWRNO, RCITY, A4, C6A, C6B, C6C, E4E, E7A, SPSAGE, MOMAGE, DADAGE, ADLT1AGE, ADLT2AGE, ADLT3AGE, CODERID, E1D1, E1C, E1D2, and F10 have been dropped from the public use data.

One respondent was selected at random from all eligible persons within each household.

Adults aged 18 and over residing in households located in the Michigan tri-county area of Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties.

personal interviews

survey data



2005-12-15 On 2005-08-15 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-12-15 to reflect these additions.

2015-11-16 The data, setup, and documentation files have been reformatted to current standards and a restricted version of the collection is being provided that includes variables previously masked.

2015-12-02 The public use codebook is being added.

2000-08-04 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

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