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Detroit Area Study, 1957: Party Leadership and Political Behavior and Intra-Class Correlation of Attitudes in Detroit (ICPSR 7280)

Principal Investigator(s): Katz, Daniel, University of Michigan; Eldersveld, Samuel James, University of Michigan; Kish, Leslie, University of Michigan


The Detroit Area Study (DAS) is a face-to-face survey of adults in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area. Information was collected on the political attitudes and behavior of 596 adults in the period during the fall of 1956 and early spring 1957. This collection was a combination of two separate studies: PARTY LEADERSHIP AND POLITICAL BEHAVIOR by Daniel Katz and Samuel Eldersveld, and INTRA-CLASS CORRELATION OF ATTITUDES IN DETROIT by Leslie Kish. Of the 596 respondents, 149 were categorized as belonging to a leadership sample consisting of 77 Republicans and 72 Democratic precinct leaders. For data on the political activities and attitudes of party leaders, see the related collection, DETROIT AREA STUDY, 1957: LEADER SURVEY (ICPSR 7107) (ICPSR 07107). Items in this survey focused on perceptions, attitudes, and behavior of the adult public toward party structures and organizations at the county, district, and precinct levels. In order to assess the sources of influence on the respondents' political attitudes and behavior, they were asked about the mass media they depended on most heavily for political information, as well as the frequency with which politics was discussed in meetings of their families, friends, neighbors, and other groups to which they belonged. A series of questions asked for whom respondents had voted in the 1956 presidential, gubernatorial, and congressional races, as well as which presidential candidate their family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors voted for. Other questions elicited information about the respondents' knowledge of and involvement in local party politics and their knowledge of precinct workers and their state party chairman. Also explored were respondents' feelings about the importance of voting, their general attitudes toward politics and political figures such as Adlai Stevenson and Dwight Eisenhower, their perception of the differences between the major parties on various issues, and their opinions on several controversial issues such as a national health care, school integration, ending the military draft, and monetary aid to countries that were not anti-communist. Additional items covered the use of telephones in respondents' homes, their living experiences before coming to Detroit, their handling of change of residences since coming to Detroit, and their feelings about their neighborhood. Demographic variables include the respondent's age, sex, race, education level, place of birth, marital status, number of children, religious preference, frequency of religious attendance, political party affiliation, voter registration status and participation history, employment status, occupation, labor union membership, perceived social class, relationship to the head of household, length of time at present residence, and length of residence in the Detroit area. Demographic information was collected on the nationality, occupation, and political party affiliation of the respondent's father. Information was also collected on the number and ages of household members, the number of household members employed, labor union membership in the household, household income, whether anyone in the household was employed by the government, and the occupation and employment status of the head of the household.

Series: Detroit Area Studies Series

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Study Description


Katz, Daniel, Samuel James Eldersveld, and Leslie Kish. Detroit Area Study, 1957: Party Leadership and Political Behavior and Intra-Class Correlation of Attitudes in Detroit. ICPSR07280-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-06-23. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07280.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07280.v2

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    candidates, cities, congressional districts, congressional elections, counties, Democratic Party (USA), Eisenhower Administration (1953-1961), Eisenhower, Dwight, elections, gubernatorial elections, health care, information sources, interpersonal communication, local politics, mass media, party leaders, party membership, political affiliation, political attitudes, political awareness, political behavior, political campaigns, political issues, political participation, political parties, presidential campaigns, presidential candidates, presidential elections, public opinion, racial integration, Republican Party (USA), social networks, Stevenson, Adlai, vice-presidential candidates, voter attitudes, voting behavior, voting precincts

Geographic Coverage:    Detroit, Michigan, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1957

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    Persons aged 21 or older living in households in Wayne County, Michigan.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The data available for download are not weighted and users will need to weight the data prior to analysis.

Information about variables V238, V239 were not legible in the original documentation.

Although this study also included a sample of interviews conducted in Macomb and Oakland Counties, this data is not included in this collection.

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

Variables V363, V366, V369, V60 contain unknown codes.


Sample:    This study used a multi-stage area probability sampling using precincts as primary sampling units. Households were selected from a sample of 2,007 precincts in Wayne County, Michigan. One adult aged 21 and over was randomly selected from each household to be interviewed. Please refer to the documentation for more information on the sample design.

Weight:    The data contain a weight variable (V54) that should be used when analyzing the data. Please refer to the documentation for more information on weighting.

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview

Response Rates:    The response rate of the Wayne County portion of the sample was 87.4 percent.

Extent of Processing:   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.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-10

Version History:

  • 2010-06-23 SPSS, SAS, and Stata setup files and ready-to-go files were released with variable labels and value labels. Online analysis capabilities with question text were also added.

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