A joint project by
Institute for Social Studies of the University Of Warsaw and
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) 1999 Social Inequality III

Title of the StudyInternational Social Survey Programme (ISSP) 1999 Social Inequality III
Full name of the institution depositing the dataInstitute for Social Studies at the Warsaw University authorized by the Zentralarchiv f? Empirische Sozialforschung at the University of Cologne, Germany
Principal Investigatorsee codebook
Contact personsee codebook
Data collection languageEN
Documentation languageEN

The purpose of the study

The International Social Survey Program (ISSP) is a continuing, annual program of crossnational collaboration. It brings together pre-existing, social science projects and coordinates research goals, thereby adding a crossnational perspective to the individual, national studies.

ISSP evolved from a bilateral collaboration between the Allgemeinen Bevolkerungsumfragen der Socialwissenschaften (ALLBUS) of the Zentrum f? Umfragen, Methoden, und Analysen (ZUMA) in Mannheim, Germany and the General Social Survey (GSS) of the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), University of Chicago. Both the ALLBUS and the GSS are replicating, time series studies. The ALLBUS has been conducted biennially since 1980 and the GSS nearly annually since 1972. In 1982 ZUMA and the NORC devoted a small segment of the ALLBUS and GSS to a common set of questions on job values, important areas of life, abortion, and feminism. (A merged data set is available from the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), University of Michigan.) Again in 1984 collaboration was carried out, this time on class differences, equality, and the welfare state.

Meanwhile, in late 1983 Social and Community Planning Research (SCPR), London, which was starting a social indicators series called the British Social Attitudes Survey (BSA) similar to the ALLBUS and GSS, secured funds from the Nuffield Foundation to hold meetings to further international collaboration. Representatives from ZUMA, NORC, SCPR, and the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University organized ISSP in 1984 and agreed to 1) jointly develop topical modules dealing with important areas of social science, 2) field the modules as a fifteen-minute supplement to the regular national surveys (or a special survey if necessary), 3) include an extensive common core of background variables, and 4) make the data available to the social science community as soon as possible.

Each research organization funds all of its own costs. There are no central funds. The merging of the data into a crossnational data set is performed by the Zentralarchiv f? Empirische Sozialforschung, University of Cologne in collaboration with the Analisis Sociologicos, Economicos y Politicos in Spain.

Since 1984, ISSP has grown to 38 nations, the founding four--Germany, the United States, Great Britain, and Australia-- plus Austria, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Israel, Norway, the Philippines, New Zealand, Russia, Japan, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, Sweden, Spain, Cyprus, France, Portugal, Slovakia, Latvia, Chile, Bangladesh, Denmark, and South Africa. In addition, East Germany was added to the German sample upon reunification.

The annual topics for ISSP are developed over several years by a sub-committee and pretested in various countries. The annual plenary meeting of ISSP then adopts the final questionnaire. The ISSP researchers especially concentrate on developing the questions that are 1) meaningful and relevant to all countries and 2) can be expressed in an equivalent manner in all relevant languages. The questionnaire is originally drafted in British English and then translated to other languages using standard back translation procedures.

ISSP marks several new departures in the area of crossnational research. First, the collaboration between organizations is not special or intermittent, but routine and continual. Second, while necessarily more circumscribed than collaboration dedicated solely to crossnational research on a single topic, ISSP makes crossnational research a basic part of the national research agenda of each participating country. Third, by combining a cross time with a crossnational perspective, two powerful research designs are being used to study societal processes.

Main topics of the study

Social background and good relations as most important prerequisites for success in the society; most important criteria for social mobility (scale: personal effort, intelligence or corruption); reasons for and acceptance of social inequality; Self-assessment of payment suitable for performance; estimation of actual and adequate monthly income for occupational groups; responsibility of government to reduce income differences; attitude to a progressive tax rate; assessment of the economic differences between poor and rich countries; attitude towards compensation by additional taxes in the wealthy countries (Redistribution); justification of better medical supply and better education for people with higher income; assumption of conflicts between social groups in the country; self-assessment on a top-bottom-scale and expectation of the individual level in 10 years; social mobility; criteria for the classification of payment for work (scale: responsibility, education, supervisor function, needed support for family and children or quality of job performance); feeling of a just payment; characterisation of the actual and the desired social system of the country, measured by classification on pyramid diagrams; Self-assessment of the respondent as well as classification of an unskilled factory worker and a chairman of a large corporation on a top-bottom-scale; number of books in the parental home in the respondent's youth.

Unit of Analysis


Sample design

Type of the sample applied in the Study

see codebook

Geographic coverage of the sample

Australia, Bulgaria, Chile, Germany, France, Great Britain, Israel, Japan, Canada, Latvia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Austria, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, USA, Republic of Cyprus
Lower age cut-off for the sample
Upper age cut-off for the samplebrak

Data collection methods were used for the study

see codebook

The total number of starting or issued names/addresses and the total number of successfully completed

starting or issued names/addresses
sucessfully completed

Substitution or replacement of respondents

see codebook

Post-stratification weight


Factors considered at construction of the post-stratified weighting factor

see codebook

Weighting or post-stratification strategy used

see codebook

Known limitations (biases) of the achieved sample. For example: differential coverage of particular groups, either because of sample design or response differences.

see codebook

Description of sample design

Attached to deposited documentation


Start and end dates of fieldwork

Start date-3-1999
End date-9-2001

Interviewers required to

make a certain number of calls/visits in different times of the same day
make a certain number of calls/visits on different days

Interviews back-checked (e.g. supervisor checks later whether interview was conducted

Yes - approximate proportion NA %

Other information about the study

Pattern for data quotation

The data utilized in this (publication) were documented and made available by the ZENTRALARCHIV FUER EMPIRISCHE SOZIALFORSCHUNG, KOELN. The data for the 'ISSP' were collected by independent institutions in each country (see: principal investigators in the study-description-schemes for each participating country). Neither the original collectors nor the ZENTRALARCHIV bear any responsibility for the analyses or interpretation presented here.

In order to provide funding agencies with essential information about the use of archival resources, and to facilitate the exchange of information about research activities based on the ZENTRALARCHIVE's holdings, each user is expected to send two copies of each completed manuscript to the ZENTRALARCHIV.

Generally accessible publications that refer to this data

Data distribution

Data use restrictions

no restrictions

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