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“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”
July 4, 2012 10:33 AM   Subscribe

A quarter-century of responses to the Pew Research Center's American Values survey statements show some surprising trends when graphed over time. A sampling: Data is also broken down by religious and political affiliation, gender, age, race, education and income.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul (86 comments total) 61 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, what happened in 1990 that so radically influenced people's perception of interracial dating? That's a big jump.
posted by KathrynT at 10:38 AM on July 4, 2012 [23 favorites]


Reading this almost makes me optimistic about the future!

Almost.
posted by anewnadir at 10:39 AM on July 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


You can draw all the graphs you want, but I'm still exercising my right to live in a permanent state of agitation about how the world is terrible and getting worse.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:40 AM on July 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


How do 32% of black people agree that "we have gone too far in pushing equal rights in this country"?
posted by desjardins at 10:41 AM on July 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Man, what happened in 1990 that so radically influenced people's perception of interracial dating? That's a big jump.

Will Smith got a TV show.
posted by The Whelk at 10:42 AM on July 4, 2012 [30 favorites]


The book-banning data is really interesting when broken down by age. Senior citizens are consistently the strongest supporters, and except for a weird stretch in 2002-2007 teens are the strongest opponents, but youth support for banning books absolutely falls off a cliff since 2007 in a way no other group mirrors.

Yay kids!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:42 AM on July 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


How do 32% of black people agree that "we have gone too far in pushing equal rights in this country"?

Ask Herman Cain about Affirmative Action sometime.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:44 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are a lot less atheists than the Internet would have me believe. 80% of all respondents never doubt the existence of God and 76% believe we will be called before God to answer for our sins on judgment day. Wow.
posted by desjardins at 10:47 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


How do 32% of black people agree that "we have gone too far in pushing equal rights in this country"?

That's just Uncle Tom. He always surfaces in polls like this.
posted by Talez at 10:50 AM on July 4, 2012


Man, what happened in 1990 that so radically influenced people's perception of interracial dating? That's a big jump.

My theory is that's the year that the gay movement started picking up steam and all of the people with their knickers in a twist about interracial dating said "Fuck it, let's go hate the gays instead."
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:52 AM on July 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


30a. People like me don't have any say about what the government does

Trending upward, but I was surprised the total wasn't higher than 55% (not that 55% is a great number for a purported democratic republic. However, it's not bad for a nation lurching toward kleptocracy).
posted by audi alteram partem at 10:59 AM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


There are a lot less atheists than the Internet would have me believe. 80% of all respondents never doubt the existence of God and 76% believe we will be called before God to answer for our sins on judgment day. Wow.

It does make you stop and reconsider any statement about the public ever made on the internet, doesn't it?

Perhaps all the common wisdom thrown around online is based on a fundamentally flawed vision of who religious people are and what they do with their time.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:00 AM on July 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


No, seriously, what happened in 1990?
posted by alasdair at 11:05 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


My theory is that's the year that the gay movement started picking up steam and all of the people with their knickers in a twist about interracial dating said "Fuck it, let's go hate the gays instead."

Nah. Bowie got together with Iman. And when Bowie does something everyone starts thinking it's cool.
posted by Talez at 11:06 AM on July 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


School boards ought to have the right to fire teachers who are known homosexuals

Well yeah, obviously. Otherwise one could come out as gay to avoid being sacked.
posted by ODiV at 11:07 AM on July 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ice, Ice, Baby.
posted by borges at 11:08 AM on July 4, 2012


No, seriously, what happened in 1990?

Jungle Fever was released.
posted by knave at 11:10 AM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Okay, quick Googling and thought suggests: Colin Powell and Nelson Mandela. And yes, Will Smith.
posted by alasdair at 11:11 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well yeah, obviously. Otherwise one could come out as gay to avoid being sacked.

But then we'd have another gerbil king to challenge Lemmiwinks and it'd just be gerbil civil war for the next decade.
posted by Talez at 11:12 AM on July 4, 2012


Oh man I bet it is Jungle Fever. Or at any rate, a gestalt of media representations of which Jungle Fever was a large part.
posted by KathrynT at 11:13 AM on July 4, 2012


I think the peak of the dogleg is actually 1991.

1991 was the Rodney King beating; 1992: the riots and "Can't we all get along?"
posted by bonehead at 11:17 AM on July 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Or at any rate, a gestalt of media representations of which Jungle Fever was a large part.

Like Carlton and a certain Fresh Prince episode?
posted by Talez at 11:18 AM on July 4, 2012


How do 32% of black people agree that "we have gone too far in pushing equal rights in this country"?

The question doesn't seem to specify who the equal rights are for. It's possible that the respondents feel that equal rights along race lines are ok, but equal rights for gays are pushing things too far.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:18 AM on July 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


surprising trends when graphed over time

Surprising to whom? They all went pretty much the way I thought they would.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:19 AM on July 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


The end of Apartheid occurred in 1990. This also marks the end of the Cold War as the Soviet Union began to disintegrate, but I'm not sure how that could have influenced public opinion toward interracial relationships.
posted by jamincan at 11:19 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]



Oh man I bet it is Jungle Fever. Or at any rate, a gestalt of media representations of which Jungle Fever was a large part.


I think it was the opposite actually. That's just about when rap softened up considerably and a flurry of much more diverse black images arrived on the scene. Whoopi Goldberg was doing fine (as well as making out with Demi Moore in 'Ghost'), Will Smith was the ultra smooth white guy with extra melanin, Michael Jackson was...well...in transition. Morgan Freeman was driving Miss Daisy, Nelson Mandela had been released from prison, etc.

But perhaps the most important part was that Gulf War I started midway through 1990, and suddenly the most dangerous black men and women anyone could think of were the ones who were fighting our war halfway around the world. Rallying around the troops meant rallying around quite a few black people, which I believe in turn lead to a more nuanced vision of them. Tupac can't date my daughter, but First Sargeant John Washington is more than welcome to.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:24 AM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Interestingly, the 94-95 OJ Simpson affair had little effect on the "would you date question"---the lines are pretty flat in those years.
posted by bonehead at 11:24 AM on July 4, 2012


What's wrong with the White Evangelical Christians? From the results of these surveys I'm not sure I'd like one if I met one.

Still, they are getting better like everyone else.
posted by antiwiggle at 11:26 AM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


youth support for banning books absolutely falls off a cliff since 2007 in a way no other group mirrors

Why would someone want to ban a thing that's completely unknown to them?
posted by univac at 11:32 AM on July 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Pew stats on Atheism in America at 1.6% and 2.4% atheist and agnostic gives you 4% self identified as non believers add 6% secular unaffiliated at best 10% of Americans will admit to no or little faith in religion.
posted by pdxpogo at 11:35 AM on July 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


What's wrong with the White Evangelical Christians? From the results of these surveys I'm not sure I'd like one if I met one.

If you look at the actual percentages instead of how much they differ from other groups, I think you'll find you have a pretty good chance of meeting one you'd like.
posted by straight at 11:35 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's wrong with the White Evangelical Christians? From the results of these surveys I'm not sure I'd like one if I met one.

I've met plenty and you'd like them fine. Until a topic like homosexuality or freedom of religion or something comes up and their face opens up and you see the tentacles inside.
posted by DU at 11:46 AM on July 4, 2012 [21 favorites]


The combination of the unions and corporate power questions is both a little relieving in terms of stated belief, and at the same time strongly show peoples' willingness to vote against their interests.
posted by frimble at 11:47 AM on July 4, 2012


youth support for banning books absolutely falls off a cliff since 2007 in a way no other group mirrors

Why would someone want to ban a thing that's completely unknown to them?


The last Harry Potter book came out in 2007. I presume there were a lot of news stories about parents' groups attempting to ban them for witchcraft. Suddenly, it wasn't boring old crap you had to read in school ("Catcher in the Rye" has probably made more than a few high school students okay with banning books) -- it was the book that you and all your friends were staying up late to devour.
posted by Etrigan at 11:47 AM on July 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


The Pew Pew Research Center still showing 90% disapproval for Russian twinks.
posted by fullerine at 11:49 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pew stats on Atheism in America at 1.6% and 2.4% atheist and agnostic gives you 4% self identified as non believers add 6% secular unaffiliated at best 10% of Americans will admit to no or little faith in religion.

Precisely. Nonbelievers are a vast minority in America, which is why it's so funny when people insist that American atheists are a majority on metafilter (or "the internet", which is even more hilarious). It just seems that way because offline public discourse is so overwhelmingly religious or religion-neutral -- you don't see many explicitly areligious or anti-religious messages.
posted by vorfeed at 12:07 PM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I would like the objective, non-biased research better if they could just use birth years to delineate generations instead of the "greatest" "silent" "boomer" "gen x" and "millennial" labels. Some of these are clear stereotypes and border on propaganda. Admittedly, I'm weary of 25+ years of being told what a scary disappointment my generation is, the gang who can never be as awesome as the "greatest generation" but doesn't show the civic-minded optimism and promise of the milennials. Can I at least get a damn survey that doesn't use those terms?
posted by Alexander Hatchell at 12:10 PM on July 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Man, what happened in 1990 that so radically influenced people's perception of interracial dating? That's a big jump. -- "True Colors, a sitcom that aired on Fox from September 2, 1990 to April 12, 1992 ... featured an interracial marriage and a subsequent blended family."
posted by crunchland at 12:11 PM on July 4, 2012


So, this graph based on the data is basically a road map for the presidential campaigns. And it seems to reflect how each campaign has framed itself and pressed the other.
posted by pokermonk at 12:25 PM on July 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


What's with the generational breakdown being given in terms of names rather than actual date ranges?
posted by kenko at 12:27 PM on July 4, 2012


Book banning: glad the rates are dropping, can't BELIEVE they are still that high.
posted by DZack at 12:42 PM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I do not believe anyone should date White Evangelical Christians."
posted by iamck at 12:55 PM on July 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


No, seriously, what happened in 1990?

I expect the dull answer is either a change in question wording/order or a change in methodology.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:06 PM on July 4, 2012 [19 favorites]


Every time I am feeling craptastic about the (to me, often inexplicable) continued support for crazy right wingers, I am immensely cheered studies like these showing such clear trends on issues like interracial relationships and gay rights. I mean, I wish I lived in a world where equal rights were a starting point, not a still-awaited goal, but I'll take progress with a smile.
posted by Forktine at 1:15 PM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Labor unions are necessary to protect the working person.

Higher than I would have expected. Maybe it needs a 1% category to really show where represented opinion lies.

Also, what's the deal with the religious preference tab only counting white people when they have data for everyone else too?
posted by Winnemac at 1:20 PM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, seriously, what happened in 1990?

Colin Powell and Nelson Mandela.


Heyyyyyyyyyy if they're both black it's not interracial dating tho!!
posted by CynicalKnight at 1:31 PM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


But perhaps the most important part was that Gulf War I started midway through 1990

Yes, but are you sorry?
posted by zvs at 1:37 PM on July 4, 2012 [19 favorites]


What happened in 1990-91 was the appointment of the conservative Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. It was not liberals who changed their minds about interracial dating but the prospect of Thomas, with his anti-abortion views being on the Supreme Court which changed some minds about interracial dating. Thomas was married to a white woman and Professor Anita Hill, a black woman, was perceived by some as attempting to ruin his chances. Those hearing were very polarizing and widely followed.

I think it was a case of conservatives being confronted with the reality of "Love my conservative opinion, accept my interracial marriage."
posted by Anitanola at 1:47 PM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


There was at least one that legitimately surprised me: http://www.people-press.org/values-questions/q40m/discrimination-against-blacks-is-rare-today/#race

It's interesting that white people and black people have been in almost lockstep for the last 25 years regarding the percentages who believe that the age of racism against black people is over. I always thought that declaring racism a thing of the past was a purely white pastime.

Two other interesting blips on this same chart:

1. The increased "racism is over" sentiment among white people since the election of Obama seems to be only the continuation of an existing trend rather than causally linked to his election. Black people, on the other hand, have gotten more pessimistic on the topic (perhaps as a result of seeing a black man in office having had little effect on how much racist crap they encounter in their own lives).

2. Hispanic people think that black people have it worse that black people think they do.
posted by 256 at 2:13 PM on July 4, 2012


I have every reason to think that this is a well done, thoughtful and substantially impartial series of polls/results--the Pew Institute is not to be summarily dismissed as amateurish or partisan--so my primary observation is--why are the wrong people voting or are we voting against our own opinions? It does not seem to me that Congress or many State legislatures reflect this cross section of opinion. It is heartening to see these trends and results. Thanks very much for the post--I need to look at this at least every other day and stop watching the news.
posted by rmhsinc at 2:13 PM on July 4, 2012


The Millennials (18-29) consistently show themselves to be a bright, reasonable, practical and thoughtful, and infinitely wise group of kids, and I think the country would be better if we really just let them run the country at this point as everyone over 30, present company excepted, is obviously too jaded or watched too much Fox News or some shit like that...

C'mon Millennials! Uncle Skygazer's on your side!
posted by Skygazer at 2:20 PM on July 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


41e. School boards ought to have the right to fire teachers who are known homosexuals

This is poorly worded. Of course "school boards ought to have the right to fire teachers who are known homosexuals"; the school board should have the right to fire any employee for valid reasons, regardless of said employee's sexual orientation. It's easy to assume they mean, "School boards ought to have the right to fire teachers because they are known homosexuals," but that's not actually what's explicitly being asked.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:22 PM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, what happened in 1990 that so radically influenced people's perception of interracial dating? That's a big jump.

Will Smith?
posted by Malice at 2:23 PM on July 4, 2012


I expect the dull answer is either a change in question wording/order or a change in methodology.

Yeah, this screams change in methodology to me - that bump seems to exist over multiple questions. Intuitively I suspect a change in how they did sampling, but I of course don't know for sure.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:25 PM on July 4, 2012


Also, I'm amazed at how the country, in spite of itself and all the toxicity is still arcing towards greater justice as per MLK's famous quote...

If I was a GOtP-er I'd be really worried and would want four things to happen: 1. Suppress and harass as much of the voting public as possible and 2. Run a false flag phony terrorist attack to cause the nation to become more extreme Right, again. 3. Have that youth serum up and distributed to everyone over 70 so we could all live until 150 or 200 yrs of age. 4. Get Fox News to re-double it's efforts to turn the nation into a bunch of brainwashed Right-wing narrative spouting idiots.
posted by Skygazer at 2:27 PM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Millennials (18-29) consistently show themselves to be a bright, reasonable, practical and thoughtful, and infinitely wise group of kids, and I think the country would be better if we really just let them run the country at this point as everyone over 30, present company excepted, is obviously too jaded or watched too much Fox News or some shit like that...

Thank you very much but seriously what the fuck are we supposed to do with this mess?
posted by vogon_poet at 2:41 PM on July 4, 2012 [28 favorites]


I expect the dull answer is either a change in question wording/order or a change in methodology.
Yeah, this screams change in methodology to me - that bump seems to exist over multiple questions. Intuitively I suspect a change in how they did sampling, but I of course don't know for sure.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:25 PM on July 4 [+] [!]


It seems most of the graphs have unusual activity around the early 90's, but seemingly not in a consistent way (either up or down). What kind of methodological change would account for this inconsistency? Or could it be that the early 90's really were that significant?
posted by smartypantz at 2:43 PM on July 4, 2012


I would love to see principle component analysis performed on this data.

It's interesting that people with low income are more likely than other income brackets to believe we've pushed equal rights too far (question 40d).

It would be more interesting to learn how strongly low income correlates with this view, when the other measured variables are controlled / accounted for.
posted by interim_descriptor at 2:49 PM on July 4, 2012


Down with AmeriAmeriAmeri...cancancan Inceptionalism!
posted by oulipian at 3:01 PM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


why are the wrong people voting or are we voting against our own opinions?

Well, there's all the money on the other side to influence legislators, and if you're paranoid, the continued specter of voting machines that seem made for easy tampering. Along with voter-suppression schemes.
posted by emjaybee at 3:04 PM on July 4, 2012


My take is there are a lot of vocal minorities. Which makes sense, of course, but they're also the most likely ones to vote so when it comes to election time they wield more power than their numbers would suggest. Ignore them at your peril.
posted by tommasz at 3:13 PM on July 4, 2012


What kind of methodological change would account for this inconsistency?

*A change in sampling algorithm (adding or subtracting sampling-unit layers, changing to random dialing instead of a phone book or equivalent)

*A change in how they post-weight or post-stratify -- some people are more likely to agree to be surveyed than others, so you want to give more weight to people who did respond but were less likely to; there are different ways to do this

*If they weight or poststratify in comparison to Census data, maybe just changes in the underlying demographics in the 1990 census

No doubt there are more but I'm inexpert at survey methods & statistics
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:17 PM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


41e. School boards ought to have the right to fire teachers who are known homosexuals

This is poorly worded. Of course "school boards ought to have the right to fire teachers who are known homosexuals"; the school board should have the right to fire any employee for valid reasons, regardless of said employee's sexual orientation. It's easy to assume they mean, "School boards ought to have the right to fire teachers because they are known homosexuals," but that's not actually what's explicitly being asked.


It was a perfectly worded question fifty years ago, when being a known homosexual was the "because." But even twenty-five years ago, only about half of people thought that was enough, and now the question sounds incongruous enough that we need that "because" added in.
posted by Forktine at 3:24 PM on July 4, 2012


No, seriously, what happened in 1990?

Maybe Will Smith. Possibly "True Colors". Maybe Clarence Thomas.

I'm pretty sure it was Halle Berry
posted by fredludd at 3:45 PM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


"1t. I often don't have enough money to make ends meet."

20% of Upper Class Agree

41% of Upper-Middle Agree

What planet are these people living on??!
posted by adso at 4:42 PM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


The planet where people are bad at budgeting, no matter how much money they have to work with.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:53 PM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jungle Fever was 1991.
posted by spitbull at 4:55 PM on July 4, 2012


No, seriously, what happened in 1990?

1989-1990 is also when Michael Jordan became "Michael Jordan".

Another factor would be that being at the heart of the time when the first generation of Americans born post-civil rights were becoming adults.

But i would guess that it was probably a lot of little things, which to me is a much more interesting phenomenon than attributing it to just one thing.
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:07 PM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm approaching upper middle class and I feel like I'm barely making ends meet because I pay a ton in student loan payments and am bad at budgeting money. I also feel like I'm broke if I have less than two grand in my checking account.

Basically, the amount of money that makes you genuinely comfortable is always elusive; I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Donald Trump feels like he's barely scraping by.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:15 PM on July 4, 2012


"1t. I often don't have enough money to make ends meet."

20% of Upper Class Agree

41% of Upper-Middle Agree

What planet are these people living on??!


Everyone figures that if they just made about twice as much as they do right now, it would be Easy Street. I make a comfortable living now, after a decade or two of frequent poverty. I have a friend, a year younger than I, who recently retired in his early forties. His pay at his old job was between three and four times my own, and his indexed pension is double what I make. A month after retiring, he re-entered the work force at another job that makes multiple iterations of my own annual salary. Essentially, this guy is pulling down at least five times what I am and he declared a week ago that he was buying lottery tickets as his only hope for a smooth financial future.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:40 PM on July 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


What's wrong with the White Evangelical Christians?

For one thing, they have gained way too much influence on US attitudes about science, responsible citizenship and the environment.

Pity there are no questions on the Rapture.
posted by Surfurrus at 7:00 PM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]



The Millennials (18-29) consistently show themselves to be a bright, reasonable, practical and thoughtful, and infinitely wise group of kids ...


I thought that at first, too. But then I began to wonder if they really have enough foundational knowledge to judge some of the questions (i.e., the history of unions, military mistakes, environmental science, nuclear threats, affirmative action, women's equity, civil rights, etc.)

In some places this polling also reveals Millennial naivete about economic states in general. I hope it is naivete, anyway -- and not misogyny or the lack of compassion for the economic oppression of women and minorities. Also, the question about them admiring wealth is sad -- hopefully just a youthful lusting, and not something that will develop into materialistic obsessions. We can hope.

Where the Millennials do stand out, is in questions regarding personal/social values and those of privacy, access to information, and 'open source' (this is the napster/wikileaks generation, after all). Also, they seem to be the generation most affected by the Occupy movement (i.e., anti-capitalism, anger at inequity, corporate and banking concerns, mistrust of government, etc.). They are holding on to their ideals.

I have hope. And I really hope they don't get too discouraged by the mess left to them. I also hope they have some patience. This age group is always the one that is least likely to vote, and they are even less inspired now. It will be a huge challenge this year to get them to see just how horrific a Republican reign would be. If they do not give in to nihilistic boycotting of voting this year, they could make a big difference for this nation.
posted by Surfurrus at 7:30 PM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's nice to see that everyone is moving on these graphs. Republican isn't static, republican = democrat ten years ago.
posted by compound eye at 9:39 PM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is poorly worded. .... but that's not actually what's explicitly being asked.

I really love it when someone else can see the hidden possible readings in something that I don't see until it's pointed out.


I doubt it matters for this survey that the question is not actually what's explicitly being asked,

communication is often technically ambiguous, and context means that you can usually sacrifice precision for brevity,

and I'm guessing the number of logicians and contract lawyers who crank answered 'yes' to this because the saw the technically correct, decontextualized meaning of this sentance is low ~ zero.

all the same good language processing Sys Rq
posted by compound eye at 9:53 PM on July 4, 2012


Wow, mind blown by Sys Rq twice

I just posted: I really love it when someone else can see ..... something that I don't see until it's pointed out.

And then I wondered what does Sys Rq mean. I googled. And it's there on my keyboard above 'insert'. It has always been there and I have never seen it until today.

posted by compound eye at 9:59 PM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


But i would guess that it was probably a lot of little things, which to me is a much more interesting phenomenon than attributing it to just one thing.

Yep. It's more likely that small things accumulated until they reached a bit of a tipping point.

It's nice to see that everyone is moving on these graphs. Republican isn't static, republican = democrat ten years ago.

And interesting to think that a lot of confirmed Democrats from ye olden days, if you brought them up to today in a time machine, might now join the Republicans rather than what they could see as far-left Democrats.

Is this where the idea comes from that older people turn conservative? Do they actually stay just as liberal as they ever were while things around them become more liberal?
posted by pracowity at 1:44 AM on July 5, 2012


The important conclusion of this data is that old people need to die in order for society to progress. In the end Health care reform may not be progressive.
posted by srboisvert at 2:34 AM on July 5, 2012


The important conclusion of this data is that old people need to die in order for society to progress.

Well, that's a little extreme of a conclusion. They can simply become less influential.
posted by atbash at 4:41 AM on July 5, 2012


older people turn conservative?Do they actually stay just as liberal as they ever were while things around them become more liberal?

viewing the social issues graphs by 'generation' suggests rates of change seem similar for all generations, but that young adults get a one time only leap ahead of their parents generation.
posted by compound eye at 5:47 AM on July 5, 2012


The Millennials (18-29) consistently show themselves to be a bright, reasonable, practical and thoughtful, and infinitely wise group of kids, and I think the country would be better if we really just let them run the country at this point as everyone over 30, present company excepted, is obviously too jaded or watched too much Fox News or some shit like that...

Hey, no problem. First, gimme a job.
posted by Seiten Taisei at 7:46 AM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


The question on whether the federal government controls too much of our daily lives is amusingly predictable when broken down by political party.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:10 AM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why are women (until very recently) more in favor of banning books? "Stereotypically" women are more socially liberal than men; several of these graphs seem to give the lie to this (I noticed that women were slightly less favorable towards blacks and whites dating, again until recently). I wonder if this is due to the influence of older, less educated, more religious "stereotypical church lady" women (no, I'm not talking about religious women per se, I'm talking about the stereotype).
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:01 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tell Me No Lies: But perhaps the most important part was that Gulf War I started midway through 1990, and suddenly the most dangerous black men and women anyone could think of were the ones who were fighting our war halfway around the world. Rallying around the troops meant rallying around quite a few black people, which I believe in turn lead to a more nuanced vision of them. Tupac can't date my daughter, but First Sargeant John Washington is more than welcome to.
It would be interesting to see if a bump occurred circa 1942-5. White Germans were killing our boys, and black infantry were defending them.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:07 PM on July 5, 2012


Seiten Taisei: Hey, no problem. First, gimme a job.

Hang in there, things will improve. Looking for a job in the early 90s for GenX fresh out of college was the absolute pits as well.

I worked a couple of crap retail jobs pay/benefits wise, meaning low pay and no benefits, until I really focused and came up with a scheme at the library from some sources I found, got my interviewing skills as sharp as I could get them (lots of good books on that can help you decode what the heck is going on in those things. For one thing, tough questions help you, believe it or not), and began to cold call like crazy and I'm talking a dozen calls a day or so, and at the end of two weeks of that, I ended up getting two, not perfect, job offers, but definitely on my way sort of thing. I took both (they were both P/T) and after a few months of that one of them turned into F/T and clearly a good opportunity in the long run (even if the pay was bad and the benefits garbage), and it led me to the next place in a couple of years, which involved sharpening some skills through taking some classes....and that finally got me a decent job with actual benefits...

Anyhow thing is while you're doing this stuff don't forget to breath and have intervals of fun and relaxation, and getting your head straight again...it's the only thing that kept me together, was knowing that no matter how bad things got there was a place I could go and people I could spend time with that made me realize, that some things weren't as scary or huge as I thought, and it would be fine if I just kept it together and kept my feelings and perspective healthy...

These days with the prevalence of the web, I think I would try and create a skill or presence or content (I'm trying to be very broad here) sort of thing that was unique to me, and see if I could market that....whether that was a certain access to certain info or knowledge, or style, or even some artistic project...etc...

Good luck and keep your self together....

/Uncle Skygazer's advice for unemployed Millennials.
posted by Skygazer at 2:43 PM on July 5, 2012


I believe I've got it. What happened in 1990 was it was the last time the survey was taken face-to-face. After that it was by telephone.

http://www.people-press.org/2012/06/04/about-the-values-survey-data/

Much as I'd like it to be Rodney King, or Jungle Fever, or the end of South African apartheid, I think it's the distance of the phone. Do we think that lets people be *more* honest? Hm.
posted by clauclauclaudia at 5:56 PM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Shifting from face to face to phone (probably) also means shifting from some sort of cluster sample to a (probably) more random sampling method.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:51 PM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


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