A Telescope on Society seeks to convey the development of social science in the twentieth century through its interaction with a major new instrument for gathering data about society-survey research. The story of survey research and social science is largely told by social scientists affiliated with the Survey Research Center (SRC) and Institute for Social Research (IRS) at the University of Michigan about work done there. But the book also places this story in the broader context of survey-based social science in the United States and the world, to which many individuals and institutions beyond SRC, ISR, and Michigan have also contributed.
The chapters of this volume illustrate the impact that developments in survey research have had and continue to have on a broad range of social science disciplines and interdisciplinary areas ranging from political behavior and electoral systems to macroeconomics and individual income dynamics, mental and physical health, human development and aging, and racial/ethnic diversity and relationships.
The volume will speak to a wide audience of social science and survey research professionals and students interested in learning more about the broad history of survey-based social science and its contributions to understanding ourselves as social beings. It also seeks to convey how crucial institutional and public support are to the development of social science and survey research, as they have been to development in the natural, biomedical, and life sciences.
The five editors of this book are longtime research professors and colleagues in the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. James S. House is also Professor in the Department of Sociology; F. Thomas Juster is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Economics; Robert L. Kahn is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology and Department of Health Management and Policy; and Howard Schuman is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology; Eleanor Singer is Research Professor in the Survey Research Center, all at the University of Michigan. Professors House (1991-2001), Kahn (1970-76), and Schuman (1982-90) have each served as Director of the Survey Research Center; Professor Juster served (1976-86) as Director of the Institute for Social Research; and Professor Singer served (1999-2002) as Associate Director of the Survey Research Center.