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Mannheim Elite Study 1968

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Schleth, Ulrich (Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Universität Mannheim)
  • Wildenmann, Rudolf (Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Universität Mannheim)
Publication Date
  • INFRATEST, Munich (Data Collector)
  • ZA:
    • Political Issues
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Employment
    • Mass political behaviour, attitudes/opinion
    • Government, political systems and organisation
    • Elites and leadership
  • Abstract

    The professional career of West German elites and their attitudes to political questions of principle as well as to current and long-term political and economic problems. Topics: characterization of particular burdens of the professional position; occupational satisfaction; competition pressure on one´s own position; most important factors of personal occupational career; judgement on the chances for talented young newcomers in one´s area of occupation; attitude to transfer of executives between areas of science, industry, politics and the economy; preferred areas for a personal change; significant special interest groups in one´s area of occupation; assessment of the importance of selected sources of information for one´s own orientation; newspapers and magazines read; personal information deficits in the political area; judgement on the extent of government order policies in the economic process; judgement on the economic situation and the economic future of the Federal Republic as well as of the GDR; consequences of recognition of the GDR; judgement on the last Adenauer government, the government time of Erhard and of the grand coalition (scale); judgement on the effects of the grand coalition on democracy in the FRG; importance of political goals and issue-ability of the grand coalition; assessment of the influence and the success of the two coalition partners; assessment of deficiencies and advantages of the political system of the FRG; judgement on the emergency legislation; attitude to a majority vote system; assessment and judgement on the influence as well as desired power of special interest groups as well as political institutions in the FRG; attitude to the federalist principle of the FRG; judgement on the finance reform; preferred government coalition; major problems of domestic policy; attitude to a two-party system; judgement on organization form and decision-making of the parties; perceived differences between the views of the CDU/CSU and the SPD; reasons for the success of the NPD and expected proportion of votes in the Federal Parliament election 1969; assessment of the stability of the political system in the FRG; judgement on the jeopardy to political order through radicals in case of an economic crisis; assessment of equality of opportunity in the FRG; party preference and party identification; assessment of the most influential personalities in the FRG; regional and social origins; memberships; personal passive and active work in the NSDAP; military rank at the end of the war; self-assessment of belonging to the 2000 most influential personalities in the FRG. Scales: dogmatism, understanding of democracy and attitude to social change. Demography: age; sex; marital status; number of children; religious denomination; religiousness; frequency of church attendance; school education; occupational position; occupational career; self-assessment of social class; Hobbys; child-raising in parental home. Interviewer rating: interest of respondent in interview and interest in political questions in general; willingness of respondent to cooperate; designation of the most difficult questions during the interview; length of interview; presence of other persons; number of interruptions of the interview.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1968-01 / 1968-12
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
    FRG incl. West Berlin
Sampled Universe
No specific information
Sampling Procedure Comment: Sample of leaders according to the positional approach from different areas: Ministerial bureaucracy, political parties, parliaments, media, commercial enterprises, organizations and the municipal administration.
Collection Mode
  • Oral survey with standardized questionnaire
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Individual
    Number of Units: 808
    Number of Variables: 1026
In order to achieve the reduction of survey time a split questionnaire was used and individual questions only posed to half of the respondents. The first survey wave was conducted in the months January to May. In a repeated survey attempt in December of the same year 145 persons were again interviewed. In this survey parts of the questionnaire described here were used with the same formulation. These so-called retest data have already been assigned to the corresponding respondent and are contained in the data set. Further elite studies are archived under ZA Study Nos. 0796 and 1139. These studies also contain respondents interviewed for a repeated time (part-panel survey).
B - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching, if the results won’t be published. If any publications or any further work on the results is planned, permission must be obtained by the Data Archive.
All metadata from GESIS DBK are available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. However, GESIS requests that you actively acknowledge and give attribution to all metadata sources, such as the data providers and any data aggregators, including GESIS. For further information see
Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA1138 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Schleth, Uwe: Once Again: Does it Pay to Study Social Background in Elite Analysis? In: Rudolf Wildenmann (Hrsg.): Sozialwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch für Politik, Band 2, S. 99 - 118. München: Olzog 1971.
  • Wildenmann, Rudolf: Germany 1930-1970: The Empirical Findings. In: Rudolf Wildenmann (Hrsg.): Sozialwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch für Politik, Band 2, S. 18 - 60. München: Olzog 1971.
  • Enke, Edo: Oberschicht und politisches System der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Frankfurt: Lang 1974.
  • Wildenmann, Rudolf: Towards a Sociopolitical Model of the German Federal Republic. In: Wildenmann, Rudolf (Hrsg.): Sozialwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch für Politik, Band 4, S. 273 - 301. München: Olzog 1975.
  • Roth, Dieter: Zum Demokratieverständnis von Eliten in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Frankfurt: Lang 1976.
  • Hoffmann-Lange, Ursula: Eliten als Hüter der Demokratie? In: Berg-Schlosser/Schissler (Hrsg.): Politische Kultur in Deutschland. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag 1987, S. 378-391.

Update Metadata: 2020-10-20 | Issue Number: 88 | Registration Date: 2010-07-22

Schleth, Ulrich; Wildenmann, Rudolf (1968): Mannheimer Elite-Studie 1968. Version: 1.0.0. GESIS Datenarchiv. Dataset.