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ICPSR Instructional Subset: Justifying Violence: Attitudes of American Men, 1969

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Blumenthal, Monica
  • Kahn, Robert L.
  • Andrews, Frank M.
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • Instructional Subset Series
Publication Date
Free Keywords
Black militancy; crime control; cultural attitudes; draft resisters; gang violence; human behavior; instructional materials; males; police response; protest demonstrations; racial attitudes; self defense; social change; social control; social protest; social sciences; student protests; victimization; violence
  • Abstract

    This survey of attitudes of 1,374 American men aged 16-64 toward violence was conducted in the summer of 1969 by the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. The investigators examined the level of violence that respondents viewed as justified to accomplish social control and social change and also probed the respondents' personal values, their definition of violence, and their identification with groups involved in violence. To examine the degree of violence that American men felt could be justified for social control, the investigators asked respondents to react to situations involving protests and other disturbances. These situations included hoodlum gang disturbances, student protests, and Black protest demonstrations. The respondents were asked what police actions from "letting it go" to "shooting to kill" were appropriate as police control measures. Several such items were combined to form an index of "violence for social control." In questions dealing with the level of violence necessary to bring about social change, respondents were asked if they agreed with the necessity of "protest in which some people will be killed" in order to bring about changes sought by Blacks, by student demonstrators, and in general. These items were combined into an index of "violence for social change." This instructional subset from the original study also includes an initial series of questions that asked whether respondents viewed such actions as protest demonstrations, police frisking, looting, burglary, and draft-card burning as violence. This was followed by inquiries into the possible causes of violence and motives of those who participate in violence. Another set of variables deals with respondents' relative views of property damage and personal injury and their opinions on the use of violence to prevent violence, violence as a teaching tool, forgiveness of one's attacker, and the roles of courts and police agencies in combating crime. The subset concludes with a number of derived indices of violence attitudes that drew upon survey questions to form general patterns. These derived indices include retributive justice, self-defense, humanism, property-person priority, kindness, police-court power, court fairness, social causes, trust, and peer consensus indices. Finally, several summary measures gauge the respondents' general approval of violence for social control and social change purposes. Demographic variables specify education, age, religion, socioeconomic status, and region of the country.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1969
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
A total of 1,374 men aged 16-64 drawn from a national sample of dwellings in the United States, in 1969.
Collection Mode
  • The data in this subset are presented in their raw, unweighted form. In the original study, each respondent was assigned a "weight" based upon the sampling unit and the race of the respondent. While it is possible that the unweighted data may distort somewhat the general pattern of responses by race, the distribution of responses presented here seem close enough to the weighted version that this is not likely to be a serious problem. In some cases, the variables from the original study have been recoded for ease of analysis by students. Such recoding is noted in the text of the codebook when relevant and usually consists of reducing the number of response possibilities to a manageable two or three categories.

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
  • 7517 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR07517.v1

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Blumenthal, Monica; Kahn, Robert L.; Andrews, Frank M. (1984): ICPSR Instructional Subset: Justifying Violence: Attitudes of American Men, 1969. Archival Version. Instructional Subset Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.