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Content available Teaching with Melvin Kohn
tom 170
nr 2
Melvin L. Kohn is the author of well-known theory on the relationship between social class, work and personality, supported by sophisticated cross-national research. Kohn’s theory and research make a good example for the sociologists of how sociology should be done and cultivated. Here they are evaluated from the educational perspective.
tom 23
This paper deals with the problem of unequal representation of countries in international surveys, and the differences in data quality between survey projects, both obstacles to cross-national comparative research. The first part of the paper investigates international surveys on general population samples conducted in South-East Europe in the period between 1990 and 2010. Documentation of country participation in both general and region- or theme-specific survey projects shows that some countries are systematically excluded from surveys. Consequently, from comparative perspective, the generalizability of research results is not only limited but also potentially biased, omitting atypical cases. The second part of the paper focuses on the quality of surveys. It finds that the most problematic element of surveys is survey documentation, an essential component of the data. Without documentation the value of datasets, analyses using them and conclusions drawn on their basis are questionable. The proposed synthetic measure of data quality, the Survey Quality Index, could lead to setting standards for the documentation of the survey process, and thus facilitate cross-national research and allow for meaningful integration of existing survey data.
Trust in state institutions is essential for the stability and legitimacy of political regimes. Understood in evaluative terms, political trust has often been linked to the performance of the state and its institutions. The macro-level sources of trust, however, are not well understood owing to the scarcity of empirical tests beyond cross-sectional analyses. This paper examines economic performance and the quality of governance as determinants of political trust in Europe. The analysis relies on data from the European Values Study and the World Values Survey between 1990 and 2019, covering 42 European countries surveyed at least twice. The modelling strategy explicitly distinguishes between-country variation from within-country variation in macro-level characteristics, enabling the examination of cross-national and longitudinal effects. The results provide evidence of associations between economic performance - economic development and unemployment - and political trust in the expected directions, with some differences across European regions. Further, countries with less corruption tend to enjoy higher political trust, but the effects of changes in the level of corruption on trust depend on the corruption indicator used. Finally, improvements in the quality of electoral democracy are associated with declines in political trust.
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