Trends in Public Opinion: A Compendium of Survey Data

By Richard G. Niemi; John Mueller et al. | Go to book overview

70-75 percent of the public since at least as far back as 1959 (Table 6.30). The rising crime rate and corresponding shifts in fear and punitiveness have had no impact on support for gun control because attitudes toward gun control are not primarily shaped by attitudes toward crime. Similarly the drop in gun ownership reflects a decline of the hunting culture as urban and suburban life-styles replace rural ways of life, and is not a reaction to crime (6.26-29).

In sum, public policy preferences on crime have been shaped largely by objective shifts in the level of criminal activity. Items such as gun control and approval of interpersonal hitting that do not follow a similar pattern are actually not closely linked to criminal matters. These attitudes are shaped by different cultural and personality factors than those that form attitudes about crime.


REFERENCES

Rankin Joseph H. 1979. "Changing Attitudes Toward Capital Punishment". Social Forces, 58:194-211.

Smith Tom W. 1976. Trend Analysis of Attitudes Toward Capital Punishment, 1936-1974. In James A. Davis, ed., Studies of Social Change Since 1948, Vol. II. NORC report 127B. Chicago: National Opinion Research Center.

Smith Tom W. 1980. "The 75% Solution: An Analysis of the Structure of Attitudes on Gun Control, 1959-1977". Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 71:300-316.

Stinchcombe Arthur L., Rebecca Adams, Carol A. Heimer, Kem Lane Scheppele , Tom W. Smith, and D. Garth Taylor. 1980. Crime and Punishment: Changing Attitudes in America. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

United Nations. 1987. Demographic Yearbook, 1985. New York: United Nations.

Wright James D., Peter H. Rossi, and Kathleen Daly. 1983. Under the Gun: Weapons, Crime, and Violence in America. New York: Aldin

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Trends in Public Opinion: A Compendium of Survey Data
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Tables vii
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • Introduction 1
  • References 10
  • 1 - Politics 11
  • References 14
  • 2 - International Affairs 49
  • REPERENCES 51
  • 3 - Taxation and Spending 73
  • References 75
  • 4 - Confidence in Institutions 93
  • References 95
  • 5 - Political Tolerance 107
  • References 109
  • 6 - Crime and Violence 131
  • References 133
  • 7 - Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs 153
  • References 155
  • 8 - Race Relations 167
  • 9 - Sexual and Reproductive Morality 187
  • References 189
  • 10 - Death and Dying 215
  • References 216
  • 11 - Role of Women 223
  • References 224
  • 12 - Work 235
  • References 237
  • 13 - Religion 251
  • References 252
  • 14 - Family 265
  • 15 - Psychological Well-Being/Group Membership 287
  • References 288
  • Index of GSS Mnemonics 317
  • Index 321
  • About the Authors 327
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