Polarisation of Politics and Society

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung
Publication Date
  • Forschungsgruppe Wahlen Telefonfeld, Mannheim (Data Collector)
  • ZA:
    • Political Attitudes and Behavior
    • Society, Culture
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Mass political behaviour, attitudes/opinion
  • Abstract

    Different opinions on a particular topic can lead to central social conflicts. Especially if the controversial topic is politically relevant. Against this background, the study was interested in finding out which issues are particularly conflict-laden and thus polarizing. In addition, the focus was on the question of the extent to which different attitudes on a number of individual political and social issues can be traced back to more fundamental attitudes and circumstances and thus explained. In addition to demographic characteristics and East-West affiliation, three other dimensions of polarization play a central role: socio-economic status, modern social image and institutional trust. Polarizing issues: most important or Second most important problem in Germany; perception and relevance of the loss of German values; perception and relevance of social (in)justice; perception of social cohesion; development of social cohesion; perception of social conflicts between different social groups (poor and rich, employers and employees, young and old, foreigners and Germans, East Germans and West Germans, women and men); assessment of the state of society; perception and relevance of educational equality; perception, relevance and speed of globalisation; perception and relevance of digitisation; perception of foreigners as cultural enrichment or as a danger of over-alienation; perception and relevance of the equality of same-sex marriage; perception and relevance of all-day care opportunities; perception and relevance of refugee policy; personal advantages or disadvantages due to refugees; assumption of Germany´s responsibility in world politics; future development of the EU (preference for stronger cooperation between member states vs. more autonomy). Circumstances: political interest; party sympathy; assessment of one´s own economic situation; assessment of one´s own future economic situation; sense of justice in relation to one´s own share; optimism for the future personally and generally in Germany; satisfaction with democracy; democracy as a good form of government; dispute over important political issues (generally and in the personal environment); understanding of most people for other political opinions; assessment of the social situation; job security. Institutional trust: trust in courts, trade unions, churches, police, federal government, politicians and political parties; credibility of public television channels and major daily newspapers; right people in leadership positions; opinion on participation and representation (politicians do not care what people think, politics too complicated, no personal influence on government action, parties all the same). Demography: sex; age; region; highest school leaving certificate; desired school leaving certificate; university degree; employment status; occupational status; unemployment since 1990; length of unemployment; household size; number of persons in the household from 18 years of age; trade union member in the household; denomination; frequency of churchgoing; number of landline telephone numbers at home; mobile phone ownership; total number of mobile phone numbers; only mobile: interview at home or elsewhere; additional landline number (homezone) on the mobile phone; landline at home; additional mobile phone number. Additionally coded: federal state of eligibility to vote; district Berlin West/ East; city size; weighting factors.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2019-01-21 / 2019-02-04
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
Sampled Universe
Resident population aged 18 and over with German citizenship
Probability: Multistage; Sampling Procedure Comment: Combined landline and mobile sample (dual-frame design)
Time Dimension
  • Cross-section
Collection Mode
  • Telephone interview: CATI
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 92
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA6732 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • WAHLEN (Type: FDZ)

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 16 | Registration Date: 2019-09-30