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Social Indicator Models

Social Indicator Models

Kenneth C. Land
Seymour Spilerman
Copyright Date: 1975
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 424
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7758/9781610446594
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  • Book Info
    Social Indicator Models
    Book Description:

    Deals in comprehensive fashion with a diverse array of objective and subjective social indicators and shows how these indicators can be used, potentially, to inform and perhaps guide social policy. Written with clarity and authority, it will be of paramount interest to those concerned with the interpretation and analysis of social indicators and to those interested in their use. For the former, it serves as an illuminating introduction to some of the analytical tasks that lie ahead in the study of social indicators. For the latter, it provides a solid foundation upon which future policy analysis may be based.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-659-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. ix-x)
    Eleanor Bernert Sheldon

    For almost a decade now the term social indicators has been appearing in the literature of the social sciences, social commentary and criticism, as well as in the more popular press. Although the term itself has been invoked to cover a wide range of referents—from the hortatory to the construction of mathematical models—there is scarcely a doubt that at least the reference is to quantative descriptions and analyses of social conditions and trends, designed both to inform public decision-making and to advance our knowledge and understanding of society.¹

    Regardless of one’s stance in viewing the approaches and purposes...

  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. INTRODUCTION

    • 1 INTRODUCTION
      (pp. 1-4)
      Kenneth C. Land and Seymour Spilerman

      The label “social indicators” has been with us for nearly a decade. It is now generally applied to indices of various social conditions within particular communities or societies; that is, to measurements of the contexts of the social life of members of a society. Moreover, it is generally held that such indicators are essential prerequisites to improved reporting on social conditions and on changes therein over time. Although somewhat controversial, it is also commonly held that social indicators potentially can be used to inform, and perhaps to guide, social policy in some more or less explicit way. (More details on...

    • 2 SOCIAL INDICATOR MODELS: AN OVERVIEW
      (pp. 5-36)
      Kenneth C. Land

      The past decade has witnessed a great surge of interest in social measurement in the form of proposals for the development of “social indicators.” Each of these proposals has been accompanied by some more or less coherent rationale for social indicators in the form of a description of the potential contributions of indicators to social analysis and social policy. On close examination, it is clear that the content of these rationales varies in emphasis, and it is useful to consider the main dimensions of the variation.

      Proposals for social indicators began to be advanced in the mid-1960s. Although the arguments...

  6. REPLICATION MODELS

    • 3 THEORETICAL DOMAINS AND MEASUREMENT IN SOCIAL INDICATOR ANALYSIS
      (pp. 37-74)
      Arthur L. Stinchcombe and James C. Wendt

      The purpose of this chapter is to suggest a general approach to the theory of measurement which rests on the idea of atheoretical domain.¹ By a theoretical domain we mean a set ofpossibleuses to which a concept, and correlatively the measures of a concept, might be put. It consists of the set of other concepts (with their correlative measures) which may enter into theories together with the concept to be measured. The definition of a concept must be formed in the light of the uses to which it is to be put. But the difficulty with this...

    • 4 THE LOG LINEAR ANALYSIS OF SURVEY REPLICATIONS
      (pp. 75-104)
      James A. Davis

      Thanks to a little pamphlet (Duncan, 1969) and a lot of money, social indicator research will probably take the, route of replication rather than invention. Instead of developing brand new measures of the “Gross National This and That,” we are more likely to see the exact repetition of previous bench mark studies. A number of such projects are currently in process, for example:

      1. Duncan has replicated attitude items from past years in the 1971 round of the Detroit Area study.

      2. David L. Featherman and Robert M. Hauser have received funding for a replication of the Blau-Duncan mobility research.

      3. The National...

    • 5 MEASURING SOCIAL CHANGE VIA REPLICATION OF SURVEYS
      (pp. 105-128)
      Otis Dudley Duncan

      InToward Social Reporting: Next Steps(1969) I argued that a promising strategy for enhancing our capability to produce useful indicators of social change is to carry out replications of studies conducted a number of years ago. If the replications are done carefully, differences between the original and the new findings should represent reliable estimates of the direction and degree of social change over the intervening period. The final recommendation in that memorandum was to “Sponsor a pilot project on replication studies: one sufficiently small in scale to be manageable but sufficiently ambitious to yield substantively interesting results.” It was...

    • 6 MEASURING CHANGE IN ATTITUDES TOWARD WOMEN’S WORK
      (pp. 129-156)
      Beverly Duncan and Mark Evers

      An imaginative social analyst might see in a set of measures on attitudes toward women’s work made some 15 years ago the roots of the current controversy surrounding sex discrimination in the job market. That women should have any kind of work was distinctly a minority sentiment among the survey respondents. Most often endorsing the sentiment, however, were the young females, those under the age of 35 at the time of the 1956 survey. Least often endorsing the sentiment were young males.

      The analyst might adduce both the passage of time and the timing of events in explaining why the...

    • 7 Women, Work, and Wages—Trends in the Female Occupational Structure since 1940
      (pp. 157-200)
      Donald J. Treiman and Kermit Terrell

      The period since 1940 has witnessed dramatic changes in the role of women. In 1940 about 30 percent of all adult women were in the labor force, while by 1970 fully half worked (U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1971:A—10). Little is known, however, about how the increase in the proportion of women working is related to changes in the occupational opportunities and experiences of women. What kinds of jobs have women been entering? Have new opporunities opened up or are women simply moving in increasing numbers into the jobs they have traditionally done? Indeed, what kinds of work...

    • 8 AGE, PERIOD, COHORT, AND EDUCATION EFFECTS ON EARNINGS BY RACE– An Experiment with a Sequence of Cross-Sectional Surveys
      (pp. 201-218)
      H. H. Winsborough

      A large fraction of the presently available indicators of the status of and change in American society are derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted monthly by the Bureau of the Census. Originally conceived of as a mechanism for collecting unemployment statistics, this large, highly professional, and thoroughly routinized survey presently provides at least annual data on a whole host of social and economic variables.

      It is my not-very-original contention that these surveys also provide a large and relatively untapped resource for the construction of models. Were basic CPS records for past and future data routinely made available to...

    • 9 DESIGN FOR A REPLICATE STUDY OF SOCIAL MOBILITY IN THE UNITED STATES
      (pp. 219-252)
      David L. Featherman and Robert M. Hauser

      In the early 1960s Professors Peter M. Blau and Otis Dudley Duncan initiated a major sample survey of the extent and sources of social mobility in the United States. Entitled “Occupational Changes in a Generation” (OCG), their survey was carried out as an adjunct to the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS), which in March of 1962 elicited data on fertility, education, income, and employment. Using a two-page mail-back questionnaire from which supplementary details about socioeconomic origins, residential background, and spouse characteristics were ascertained, Blau and Duncan were able to carry out an extensive analysis of the processes of status attainment...

  7. LONGITUDINAL AND DYNAMIC MODELS

    • 10 TRANSITION AND ADMISSION MODELS IN SOCIAL INDICATOR ANALYSIS
      (pp. 253-300)
      Richard Stone

      When I was invited to contribute a chapter to this volume it was suggested to me that I might concentrate on extending my work on the application of demographic models to the educational system; and this idea is reflected in what follows. But when I came to put something down on paper, a number of other thoughts came into my mind. In the end what I have done is to attempt to unify the analysis of social structure and social change at different levels of generality, ranging from the total population of a country, through various social subsystems such as...

    • 11 MODELS AND INDICATORS OF ORGANIZATIONAL GROWTH, CHANGES, AND TRANSFORMATIONS
      (pp. 301-318)
      Judah Matras

      Though kinship groupings, residential and local community enclaves, and organizations may be identified in a broad range of societies, a characteristic feature of modern urban-industrial societies is the increasing dominance of organizations as settings in which social interaction and individual social integration take place. Employment, education, politics and community participation, and religious observance are all typically carried out in organization settings. More generally both access to social rewards, and exchange and conversion of social resources tend increasingly to take place in organizational settings in modern societies.

      The current flowering of attention to organizations, to analysis of their types and purposes,...

    • 12 ANALYSIS OF OCCUPATIONAL MOBILITY BY MODELS OF OCCUPATIONAL FLOW
      (pp. 319-334)
      James S. Coleman

      The analysis of continuous work history data or more generally continuous life history data creates opportunities for data analysis and resynthesis which are unusual in social science. I want to discuss here a kind of analysis that appears fruitful for the development of social accounting.

      The data assumed by this analytical approach consist either of continuous records for a sample of persons which record the times of each shift from one state to another, or of frequent and equally spaced observations which record the state each person is in at that time. The states may be residential locations that can...

    • 13 GROWTH IN OCCUPATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT: Social Mobility or Investments in Human Capital
      (pp. 335-360)
      Aage B. Sϕrensen

      The term “occupational achievement” is used here to refer to the occupational prestige and income an individual has obtained at a point in time. Although it is of interest to explore differences in the processes that generate prestige and income respectively, the common elements in these processes should be specified first. This chapter focuses on what are believed to be such common elements in the processes that result in the attainment of a certain level of prestige and income at a given point in time.

      The objective of the analysis of the occupational achievement process presented here is to contribute...

    • 14 MODELS INVOLVING SOCIAL INDICATORS OF POPULATION AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE
      (pp. 361-380)
      David D. McFarland

      The word “model” is an ambiguous one, with many different meanings, as has been pointed out by Brodbeck (1959). Unfortunately, instead of clearing up the resulting confusion, she managed only to exacerbate it somewhat by introducing yet another usage of “model” to accompany the various usages she had identified in previous literature. The fact that Land (1971a) considered it worthwhile to write a paper on the definition of “social indicators” seems to suggest the existence of terminological confusion in that area as well.

      Perhaps then it is not surprising that a conference on “social indicator models” would bring together authors...

    • 15 FORECASTING SOCIAL EVENTS
      (pp. 381-404)
      Seymour Spilerman

      Current interest in social forecasting can be attributed to the confluence of a number of factors. Public concern regarding certain difficulties our country will encounter in the not too distant future—overpopulation, depletion of natural resources, excess production of scientific manpower—has created an awareness of the importance of specifying optimal rates for consumption and technological growth, and anticipating supply and demand levels in the advanced skills we provide our youth. Related to these issues, the complementary notions of social goals, social accounting, and social planning have been steadily acquiring legitimacy, even in a nation which still retains the patina...

  8. INDEX
    (pp. 405-411)