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Claire Durand

In: The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology

Chapter 5: Surveys and Society

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Surveys and Society
Surveys and society
Claire Durand

This chapter examines the interrelationship between surveys and society, i.e., how changes in the society within which surveys arose affect how they are conducted and how they in turn influence society. Society is, in the broadest sense, the survey sponsor, and it therefore defines the terms of the contract. It influences polls, defining not only the survey questions but also the means used to reach respondents and the conditions under which survey results are analyzed and published. However, the products and results of surveys – e.g., standardized questions, two-way tables of means and proportions – also influence society. They define what is learned and how it is presented to the general public.

The chapter examines the inter-influence between polls ...

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