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British Social Attitudes Survey, 1986

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
  • Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts (Great Britain). Monument Trust
  • Nuffield Foundation (United Kingdom)
  • Marks and Spencer (United Kingdom)
  • Shell UK Limited
  • Department of Employment (United Kingdom)
  • Department of the Environment (United Kingdom)
  • Countryside Commission (Great Britain)
  • Department of Trade and Industry (United Kingdom)
  • Department for Transport (United Kingdom)
  • Health Education Authority (United Kingdom)
  • Centre for the Study of Individual and Social Values
Free Keywords
attitudes; children; economic conditions; economic issues; economic policy; employment; expectations; defense (military); families; government programs; government spending; health care services; housing; income; international relations; labor markets; morality; national economy; nutrition; political issues; racial attitudes; social attitudes; social change; social issues; social values; traffic; trends; trust in government; values; 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 in purpose to the General Social Survey carried out by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) in the United States. The BSA questionnaire had two parts, one administered by an interviewer and the other completed by the respondent. As in the past, the 1986 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 1986 self-enumerated questionnaire was devoted to a series of questions on a range of social, economic, political, and moral issues. Topics that received attention (by section) include: (1) newspaper readership, politics, and defense, (2) economic issues and policies, household income, economic activity, and labor market participation, (3) the welfare state and National Health Service, (4) social class and race, (5A) families and children, (5B) politics and trust, (6A) road traffic law, (6B) industry and jobs, (7A) food and health, (7B) countryside issues, (8) housing, and (9) classification items. Beginning in 1985, an international initiative funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the International Social Survey Program (ISSP), also contributed a module to the BSA. The topic of the ISSP module in this collection was family support networks. Additional demographic data gathered included age, gender, education, occupation, household income, marital status, social class, and religious and political affiliations.
  • Methods

    There is one weight variable in the data file called WTFACTOR.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • 1986-04 / 1986-07
    Time period: 1986-04--1986-07
  • 1986-04 / 1986-07
    Collection date: 1986-04--1986-07
Geographic Coverage
  • Great Britain
  • Global
Sampled Universe
All adults aged 18 or over living in private households in Britain whose addresses were included in the electoral registers (excluding the "crofting counties" north of the Caledonian Canal).
Multistage stratified random sample consisting of four stages. The sample was drawn from the electoral register.
Collection Mode
  • face-to-face interview, 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. The PDF documentation can also be downloaded from the UKDA Web site. (5) The formats for some variables in the SPSS portable file (e.g., TEACHQ1) are not wide enough to accommodate the missing value specifications. For some procedures SPSS will display these missing values as asterisks. Users can widen the formats to display the actual missing value codes. (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.

2005-07-22 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): Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts (Great Britain). Monument Trust. Nuffield Foundation (United Kingdom). Marks and Spencer (United Kingdom). Shell UK Limited. Department of Employment (United Kingdom). Department of the Environment (United Kingdom). Countryside Commission (Great Britain). Department of Trade and Industry (United Kingdom). Department for Transport (United Kingdom). Health Education Authority (United Kingdom). Centre for the Study of Individual and Social Values.
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
  • 8910 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08910.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)
  • Lampard, Richard James. Party political hegemony in Great Britain. European Sociological Review.13, (1), 79-99.1997.
    • ID: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.esr.a018207 (DOI)
  • Jowell, R., Witherspoon, S., Brook, L. (ed.). British Social Attitudes: The 1987 Report. Ashgate Publishing Company. 1987.

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

Social and Community Planning Research (1989): British Social Attitudes Survey, 1986. Archival Version. British Social Attitudes Survey Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.