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Detroit Area Study, 1979: A Study of Metropolitan Issues (ICPSR 9301)

Principal Investigator(s): Loftin, Colin


Crime and other matters of criminal justice were the main focus of inquiry for this Detroit Area Study. Respondents were asked to report on incidents of crime against themselves, relatives, and friends. They also were queried about their fears of being victimized by crime and about measures they had undertaken to protect themselves against crime. In addition, the survey elicited views on wide range of criminal justice issues such as the death penalty, the causes of crime and ways to reduce it, the salience of crime as a social problem, the legalization of marijuana use, handgun laws, the criminality of certain acts such as shooting a fleeing burglar, the construction of new prisons, the imposition of new taxes to improve law enforcement, the allocation of federal funds to police and other services, the activities of the police and courts including their fairness toward blacks, and whether or not convicting the innocent was better than letting the guilty go free. The survey also sought respondents' views on other social issues, such as prayer in public schools, labor unions, the Equal Rights amendment, defense spending, abortion, the quality of public schools, and affirmative action. Additional information gathered by the survey includes duration of residence in the tri-county area and at the current address, place of previous residence, moves planned for the future, television viewing habits, which newspapers were read, gun ownership, shopping habits, home and motor vehicle ownership, use of public transportation, travel to work, political and social class affiliation, satisfaction with neighborhoods and with the tri-county area, and information on age, sex, place of birth, marital status, education, employment, occupation, income, religion, race, ethnicity, and household composition.

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


Loftin, Colin. Detroit Area Study, 1979: A Study of Metropolitan Issues. ICPSR09301-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1990. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09301.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09301.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    Affirmative Action, capital punishment, causes of crime, cities, crime control, crime prevention, crime reduction, drug legalization, Equal Rights Amendment, fear of crime, gun control, gun ownership, law enforcement, perceptions, personal security, public opinion, racial attitudes, school prayer, social issues, urban crimes, urban problems, victimization

Geographic Coverage:    Detroit, Michigan, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1979

Date of Collection:   

  • 1979-04--1979-08

Universe:    Adults ages 18 and over residing in households located in the Michigan counties of Oakland, Macomb, or Wayne.

Data Type(s):    survey data


Sample:    Multistage area probability sample.

Data Source:

personal interviews

Restrictions: In order to preserve respondent confidentiality, certain identifying variables are restricted from general dissemination. Aggregations of this information for statistical purposes that preserve the anonymity of individual respondents can be obtained from ICPSR in accordance with existing servicing policies.


Original ICPSR Release:   1990-05-01

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