British Social Attitudes Survey, 1998

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Social and Community Planning Research
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • British Social Attitudes Survey Series
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • Economic and Social Research Council (United Kingdom)
  • Gatsby Foundation (United Kingdom)
  • Leverhuhne Trust
  • Nuffield Foundation (United Kingdom)
  • Robert Gavron Trust (United Kingdom)
  • Wellcome Trust (United Kingdom)
  • Countryside Commission (Great Britain)
  • Department for Education and Employment (United Kingdom)
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Trade and Industry (United Kingdom)
  • Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (United Kingdom)
  • Department for Social Security
  • Ashgate Publishing Company
Free Keywords
attitudes; citizenship; economic conditions; education; expectations; family relationships; government programs; government spending; grandparents; health care services; housing; international relations; labor markets; local government; morality; national economy; newspapers; party affiliation; political attitudes; political participation; public confidence; racial attitudes; religious attitudes; social change; social classes; social issues; trends; values; voter preferences; welfare services
  • Abstract

    This survey is part of a continuing series designed to monitor trends in a wide range of social attitudes in Great Britain. The British Social Attitudes Survey (BSA) is similar to the General Social Survey carried out by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) in the United States. The BSA questionnaire has two parts, one administered by an interviewer and the other completed by the respondent. As in the past, the 1998 interview questionnaire contained a number of "core" questions covering the major topic areas of defense, the economy, labor market participation, and the welfare state. The 1998 self-enumerated questionnaire was devoted to a series of questions on a range of social, economic, political, and moral issues. Topics covered (by section) are: (1) newspaper readership, (2) party identification, (3) housing, (4) role of grandparents, (5) public spending/social welfare, (6) health care, (7) economic activity/labor market, (8) education, (9) citizenship, (10) local government, (11) miscellaneous voting habits and preferences, and (12) race, religion, and class. An international initiative funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the International Social Survey Program (ISSP), also contributes a module to the BSA. The topic of the ISSP module in this collection was religion. Additional demographic data included age, education, income, marital status, and religious and political affiliations.
  • Methods

    The weight variable WTFACTOR accounts for the fact that not all of the units covered in the survey had the same probability of selection. This weighting reflected the relative selection probabilities of the individual at the three main stages of sample selection. There are also six weight variables (WTGRCHMO, WTGRCHRA, WTGRPAMO, WTGRPARA, WTPARGMO, and WTPARGRA) in the datafile that are used with a series of questions about the role of grandparents. These additional weights, when applied, bring various parts of the sample into their correct proportions. Please see the codebook for further explanations on the derivation of these weight variables.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1998
  • 1998-04 / 1998-09
    Collection date: 1998-04--1998-09
Geographic Coverage
  • Great Britain
  • Global
Sampled Universe
All adults aged 18 or over living in Great Britain.
Multistage stratified random sampling consisting of three stages.
Collection Mode
  • computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI), self-enumerated questionnaire

    (1) In 1999, Social and Community Planning Research (SCPR) became the National Centre for Social Research. (2) Under agreement with the UKDA, the data are disseminated as they were received, without additional processing by ICPSR. This agreement also provides that ICPSR will disseminate the data only for use within its member institutions. Persons from nonmember institutions may request these data directly from the UKDA. (3) The data are provided as an SPSS portable file. (4) The documentation was converted to Portable Document Format (PDF) by the UKDA and concatenated by ICPSR. The PDF documentation can also be downloaded from the UKDA Web site. (5) The documentation contains information for several different studies (e.g., the Northern Ireland Social Attitudes, 1998, and the 1998 Young People's Social Attitudes Survey). However, only the British Social Attitudes Survey dataset is provided in this collection. (6) The British Social Attitudes Survey series began in 1983 and was conducted every year since, except in 1988 and 1992 when the core funding from the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts was devoted to conducting post-election studies of political attitudes and voting behavior in the British Election Study (BES) survey series.

2006-07-26 The data and documentation were resupplied by the United Kingdom Data Archive (UKDA). The data are now available as an SPSS portable file and the documentation has been converted to PDF by the UKDA. Funding insitution(s): Economic and Social Research Council (United Kingdom) (M 543285 001). Gatsby Foundation (United Kingdom). Leverhuhne Trust. Nuffield Foundation (United Kingdom). Robert Gavron Trust (United Kingdom). Wellcome Trust (United Kingdom). Countryside Commission (Great Britain). Department for Education and Employment (United Kingdom). Department of Health. Department of Trade and Industry (United Kingdom). Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (United Kingdom). Department for Social Security. Ashgate Publishing Company.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 3101 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR03101.v1
  • Paterson, Lindsay. Education, social attitudes and social participation among adults in Britain. Sociological Research Online.19, (1), 2014.
    • ID: 10.5153/sro.3235 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 8 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15