Social Surveys

  • Lee Harvey
  • Morag MacDonald


Surveys of one sort or another are not only an important aspect of sociological enquiry, they are part of everyday life. ‘Eight out of ten cat owners prefer Whiskas’ ‘Labour has a 4% lead’ ‘More women than men now smoke cigarettes’. These are all examples of surveying of one kind or another. They all involve asking people questions and summarising the answers in quantitative terms. Market researchers spend enormous amounts of time and money finding out who buys what products. Opinion pollsters try to keep track of which political party is most popular and which issues cause most concern to electors. Social policy surveys focus on the extent and nature of social problems and so on. In Chapter 2 we saw that surveys are used to find out who reads which newspapers and what people thought of different television programmes.


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Further Reading

  1. Social surveys: Ackroyd and Hughes, 1981; Bateson, 1984; Belson, 1986; Bulmer, 1984; Hoinville et al., 1978; Marsh, 1982; McNeil, 1990; Open University, 1986; Singleton et al., 1988; Vaus, 1986.Google Scholar
  2. Statistics: Bryman and Cramer, 1990; Clegg, 1982; Freund et al., 1986; Glenberg, 1988; Gwilliam, 1988; Kapadia and Anderson, 1987; Marsh, 1988.Google Scholar
  3. Poverty: Alcock, 1987; Evason, 1985; Haralambos, 1990, ch. 4; Mack and Lansey, 1985, 1991; Oppennheim, 1990; Townsend, 1979; Townsend et al., 1987; Trowler, 1989, ch. 3; Walker and Walker, 1987.Google Scholar
  4. Religion: Acquaviva, 1979; Berger and Luckmann, 1963; Bruce, 1990; Bynum et al., 1986; Cashmore, 1979; Durkheim, 1961; Giddens, 1989, ch. 14; Glock and Stark, 1965; Haralambos, 1990, ch. 11; Mortimer, 1982; Nelson, 1986; Robertson, 1970; Turner, 1983; Weber, 1963, 1976; Wilson, 1966.Google Scholar
  5. Sexuality: Brandenberg, 1988; Cant and Hemmings, 1988; Foucault, 1978; Gagnon and Simon, 1973; Giddens, 1989, ch. 6; Gough and Macnair, 1985; Hart and Richardson, 1981; Plummer, 1981; Rich, 1981; Ruse, 1988; Weeks, 1981.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lee Harvey and Morag MacDonald 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee Harvey
  • Morag MacDonald

There are no affiliations available

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