Survey about attitudes on race / racism
December 21, 2020 3:40 PM   Subscribe

I need to create a survey that will tease out respondents attitudes toward race and racism (i.e. how big a problem racism is, how prevalent it is, does implicit bias exist, etc. I need to craft it in a way that will not be clearly evident that this is the main purpose of the survey. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I'm hoping to find examples of such surveys that already exist and I can adapt to my needs. Does anyone know of any such surveys?

My request is based on the assumption that there are people who do not believe racism is a problem and so will resist taking a survey about race. We want to know exactly how those people feel and don't want them excluded.
posted by robverb to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
there is an ongoing project at harvard, and a ton of literature for and against the validity of the project results (google scholar etc.). I had social change and social inequality courses this year that both referenced it--one directly and one through this tolerance project site. They may be able to provide some other resources as well. Survey monkey may even have some out of the box basic versions, I seem to recall getting asked if I wanted to take a survey there around the same time I was looking at the implicit project and other research design and methodology sites.

(i'm just finishing a BA in social sciences though, i'm sure you can get some actual professor types to chime in.)
posted by th3ph17 at 4:05 PM on December 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Just a thought, are there (reasonably) any reliable proxies for racism, that appear not to be about race? A bit like using 'clean questions' in NLP.
posted by unearthed at 4:16 PM on December 21, 2020

Your best bet will probably be to make the survey much broader; tell them it's about "current social issues" or some such and include items about additional topics.
posted by metasarah at 4:52 PM on December 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'd start with a variation of the questions that Pew research center asks (nationally) on race and immigration issues. You could norm yourself to national attitudes.

More here and here.
posted by mr. remy at 5:03 PM on December 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

I am a member of a number of survey sites and have been asked abt my opinions on racial topics numerous times. Usually I’m presented with a number of statements from differing perspectives, one at a time, and rate each statement on an identical Likert scale. Example statements might be:
-Racism really isn’t a barrier for black people anymore
-Affirmative action policies in the workplace are a good thing
-Because of systemic racism, black people have a harder time in society than white people
-The goal of feminism is to make women superior to men
posted by epj at 5:19 PM on December 21, 2020

The COBRAS -- Colorblind Racial Attitudes Scale -- gets at what you want.
posted by shadygrove at 6:59 PM on December 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

There's also the General Social Survey. Lots of questions over decades. Check out the remarkable report from 1984 called "American Attitudes toward Race Relations" for some historical perspective. There's a whole book on analyzing inequalities using the GSS. Here's a paper from earlier this year on GSS-based findings on social change.
posted by acridrabbit at 2:17 PM on December 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

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