Discussion Board 5

This week topic is about the unobtrusive measure and secondary analysis and official statistics. In this week, we will examine the website of the General Social Survey (GSS) that aims to make high-quality data easily accessible to scholars, students, policymakers, and others, with minimal cost by the University of Chicago. The GSS is used by several think tank organizations, media and several governmental and private organizations.

The General Social Survey (GSS) has studied the growing complexity of American society for over 4 decades and it is the only full-probability, personal-interview survey designed to monitor changes in both social characteristics and attitudes currently being conducted in the United States, which contains a standard core of demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal questions. Among the topics covered are civil liberties, crime, and violence, intergroup tolerance, morality, national spending priorities, psychological well-being, social mobility, and stress, and traumatic events.

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Please go to the website of GSS data: https://gssdataexplorer.norc.org/ and click on Key Trends at the left corner of the website. When you click on Key Trends, you will see six categories that the data have been collected: Gender & Marriage, Current Affairs, Civil Liberties, Politics, Quality of Working Life, and Religion & Spirituality. There are several subcategories under these sections.

1. Please find out 3 subcategories that you are interested in (For example you can choose Crime, Marriage, and Voting among others). This is up to you.

2. Then when you start to analyze the trends, for example, CRIME, please click on that subcategory and you will see several questions in that section: (Favor or oppose death penalty for murder). (There is an arrow at the end of the statement that you can click and see other questions). You will also see the Question Text at the bottom of the page.

3. After you analyze a trend based on different variables (gender, age, political affiliation etc.), please export your trend to the Chart (PDF) document. (There is a button that you can use to transfer at the website along with PRINT, SHARE, TABLE and EXPORT.

4. Complete this activity with 3-5 different subcategories and discuss what you find interesting in American life, attitudes, and changes for the last 45 years. Don’t forget to upload your PDF documents with your discussion post.

Please note that there is also a click button at the Key Trends Website on how to use this tool: (To learn more about how to use this tool, click here).

This program is designed by using the TABLEAU program, which has become one of the fastest-growing data analysis and visualizations programs in the world. This is also a free program to download. If you are interested to learn more about the program, you can check its website.

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