SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL
VOLUME 37 • NUMBER 4 • DECEMBER 1983 605 THIRD AVENUE. NEW YORK, N.Y. 10158
The Council's Program In Social Indicators
A Special Issue The closing this month of the Council's Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indicators, located in Washington, D.C., provides an opportunity both for an assessment of its accomplishments and a review of the Council's plans for future work in this field . This Special Issue is both Volume 37, Number 4, of Item,\ and Number 19 of the Center·s Social Indicaton N ewsleller, which is now suspending publication.
Contents 74 78
Council Reorganizes Its Work in Social Indicators-Kellneth Prewitt Recollections and Views of Key Figures in the Social Indicators Program-Elea llor Bernert Sheldoll , Robert Parke, Murray AboI'll
Social Indicators at the Council-Richard C. Rockwell
Publications of the Center fo r Coordination of Research on Social Indicators, 1972-83
Communicating Social Science Findings to the Public-Jall/e.1 A. Davil ami John I'vlodell
Two New Council Publications on Social Indicators
Chairmen, Committee on Social Indic,ltors (page 92) ... Members of the Committee (page 94) ... Staff of the Center (page 91) ... Transfer of Center Library (page 93) . . . Council Personnel (page 103)
Council Reorganizes Its Work in Social Indicators A review of the Council's decision to close the Washington Center by Kenneth Prewitt*
IN MAY 1983, the Council's Committee on Problems and Policy voted to restructure the Council's activities in the field of "social indicators." The decision included, among other changes, the closing of the Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indicators in Washington at the end of 1983. This article reviews the observations and judgments that led to this decision. An accompanying article by Richard C. Rockwell discusses the restructured program (see pages 90-94). The Council established the Center in 1972 to contribute to the development of a broad range of indicators of social change. The Center was intended to provide a source of information on social indicators research and to facilitate communication among researchers, statistical agencies, and policy planners. Under the leadership of Eleanor Bernert Sheldon, then president of the Council, and with major funding from the National Science Foundation, the Center was created to track converging directions of research in the field, to encourage the development and application of the best social science methods, and to chart a course for the field's future development (see Items, September 1972, pages 25-26). The time period during which the Council established its Washington Center may be said to have begun with a research project sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which sought a means for evaluating and assessing the unintended and indirect consequences of the space program;! with a report of the National Commission on Technology, Automation, and Economic Progress, which decried the lack of an accounting system for charting social changes;2 and with an expansion of the existing program on indicators of social trends sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation. 3 At about
* The author, a political scientist, is president of the Council. I Raymond A. Bauer, editor, Social Indicators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1966. 2 Daniel Bell, "The Idea of a Social Report," The Public Interest, 15, Spring 1969, page 78. 3 Eleanor Bernert Sheldon and Wilbert E. Moore, editors, Indicators of Social Change: ConcepLI' and MeasuremenLL New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1968. See also Russell Sage Foundation, Annual Report 1965-1966, pages 10-12.
the same time, Senators Mondale, Harris, and Kennedy sponsored "The Full Opportunity and Social Accounting Act of 1967," which called for an annual social report of the president and the creation of a Council of Social Advisors.4 Within both the social science community and the government the old search for composite indexes to summarize several different social measures (on the order of the economists' GNP index) was given renewed life s as researchers worked on the construction of systems of "social accounts"-the 1960s version of Edna St. Vincent Millay's cry for a "loom" to weave together facts and wisdom. Edna St. Vincent Millay on the need for social indicators ... Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour, Rains from the sky a meteoric shower Of facts ... they lie unquestioned, uncoI11bined. Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill Is daily spun; but there exists no loom To weave it into fabric; ... Collected Sonnets,
Reminiscent of the program of President Hoover's Research Committee on Social Trends of the 1920s,6 the 1960s resurgence of interest in the field also came during a time of far-reaching social change, and "the obviousness, prevalence, and disturbing features of the change brought questions concerning its antecedents and consequences from both policy maker and academic. Each created a demand for social information."7 4 For a brief review of the history of the field and an assessment of its prospects, see Kenneth C. Land, "Social Indicators," in Annual Review of Sociology. Palo Alto, California: Annual Reviews, 1983, pages 1-26. 5 David L. Sills, "Some Futures for the Social Sciences," in C. S. Wallia, editor, Toward Century 21. New York: Basic Books, 1970, pages 92-93. 6 President's Research Committee on Social Trends, Recent Social Trends in the United States. 2 volumes. New York: McGraw-Hili, 1933. 1 Social Science Research Council, "Center for the Coordination of Research on Social Indicators." Proposal submitted to the National Science Foundation, 1972, pages 2-3.
The social indicators movement "Social indicators," and allied phrases, "social accounting," "social reporting," and "monitoring social change," came into use by social scientists, commentators, and policy makers in the mid-1960's. These phrases and the ideas they represented emerged from an awareness of rapid social change, from a sense of emerging problems with origins deep in the social structure, and from the ambience of the early Johnson Administration which encompassed a commitment to the idea that the benefits and costs of domestic social programs are subject to measurement and to the belief that each newly-perceived, albeit ancient, inadequacy in the society should, and would, call forth a corrective response from a federal government whose efficacy would be assisted by social measurement, planning, and new management analytical techniques. Impetus was provided by a handful of social scientists and public administrators. The enthusiasm elicited responses from economists who saw a role for their skills as theorists and measurers of welfare, sociologists who saw the relevance of their own research tradition in the measurement of social trends, political scientists who sought ways to rationalize government programs, social workers, public administrators, and a broad array of social researchers and practitioners. Out of this emerged what came to be known as the "social indicators movement," an apt designation in that, as in all movements in their initial stages, the participants were ill-defined as to membership, had little organization, and shared few specific objectives, but sensed great needs and opportunities for change, celebrated shared but necessarily ambiguous symbols, and were led by able and articulate idealists. (From Eleanor Sernert Sheldon and Robert Parke, "Social Indicators," Science, May 16, 1975, page 693).
The U.S. government policy maker in the 1960s wanted to establish goals and priorities, evaluate public programs, and develop systems of social accounts that went beyond economic considerations. This was a time when policy makers looked to the policy scientists for guidance in planning the Great Society and in waging its War on Poverty. Social indicators emerged in this expectant and demanding atmosphere. Social scientists, while relying on much the same information, put more emphasis on a basic understanding of society and on data quality and analysis. Their efforts focused on the replication of baseline studies, the exploitation of existing government data survey archives, and the development of models of social systems and subsystems, including systems for the collection of social and demographic statistics, the measurement of subjective aspects of the quality of life, and the development of regional and local indicators. DECEMBER
At the beginning of the 1970s, the Council described the conditions as follows: The importance of social indicators research as a new area of social science research is demonstrated by the interest and activity of governments, international organizations, research institutions, and individual scholars; by a rapidly growing literature; and by the funding commitments of the National Science Foundation and other foundations and government agencies. At the same time, the field is highly diverse with respect to disciplinary and professional perspectives, research auspices, methodology, substantive focus, purpose, and intended audience. B
The field clearly needed the creation of a Center and substantial investments of time and funds. The Center, unlike any other organization then existing in the Council, was given a director, Robert Parke, and a "board," the Advisory and Planning Committee on Social Indicators, which met quarterly to assess current and proposed activities. The Center was envisioned to have (and sometimes attained) a staff of seven to ten professional and support personnelmany times larger than the traditional staffing of Council planning committees. It created a reference library that included a collection of worldwide social indicator reports; it produced publications under its own imprint from time to time; and it sponsored such long-term programs as a series of books on social trends now being published. 9 A number of subcommittees and task forces were appointed on subjects including science indicators, child and family indicators, the comparability of occupation measurement, and indicators of crime and justice.
The decision to develop scientific foundations From its beginning, the Center recognized the danger that essential scientific work would be swept aside in a rush to try to satisfy the political demands being made on the field. There was a sense that scientific standards had not yet been established and that the field needed guidance so that it could avoid taking wrong directions and pursuing fads. The Center became the Council's means of protecting and expanding the scientific foundations of a field under external pressure.
B Social Science Research Council, "Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indicators." Proposal submitted to the National Science Foundation, 1973, page 1. 9 The first volume is Andrew J. Cherlin, Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1981. The next volume, on socioeconomic differences between blacks and whites, by Reynolds Farley, will be published in 1984.
In 1973, the Council adopted an eclectic view of the scientific task, arguing that "there is no single piece of research, no cluster of research projects, no one approach that will lead to a scientifically sound and useful set of measurements." The Council, accordingly, advocated the simultaneous development of the field's infrastructure, of its methods, and of its standards-in short, of its scientific foundations: " For the field to advance, several things must happen: What is now a congeries of researchers and statisticians must become a reasonably well defined community of participants in the field of social indicators. What is now a largely fugitive literature, disseminated through a multiplicity of disciplinary and organizational outlets, must become accessible through institutionalized channels of communication. What is now a largely programmatic literature must be displaced by a research literature. Where we now see a few scholars using modern analytical techniques unknown to many other workers in the field, we must in the future see a widely shared repertoire of powerful techniques. What is now a largely ad hoc approach to social measurement must give way to a commitment to the measurement and analysis of social change and to organizational practices which make this possible. Where there is a sense that social indicators may be produced by reassembling old numbers, there needs to be a recognition that the enterprise represents among the most difficult and challenging tasks confronting social science. lo
In adopting these objectives, the Center defined its role in the social indicators field as that of a scientific institution primarily oriented to advancing social indicators research as a field of social science research. It built this program on a tradition of research that had been nurtured in the 1960s by the Russell Sage Foundation, also under the leadership of Eleanor Bernert Sheldon. The development of policy uses of social indicators was, for the most part, set aside pending the laying of the field's foundations. The ambitious political agenda, with its proposed Council of Social Advisors and "Social Report of the President," was deemed to have "far exceeded any possibility for realistic attainment" in the near future. The double-barrelled decision to concentrate on scientific questions and abjure a political agenda occurred concurrently with a shift in the national political winds themselves. Although government's need for social information was large and continued to increase (as indeed it increases today), a specific policy commitment to social indicators on the part of the government can now be seen to have crested at the end of the Johnson administration, with the publica-
tion in 1969 of Toward aSocial Report 11 by th e Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The subsequent federal activities had lesser ambitions: a comprehensive chartbook of social indicators produced in the Nixon administration; the Ford administration experiment with a monthly publication (Status) in which social trends were charted and discussed; the Carter Commission for a National Agenda for the Eighties, which recommended the creation of a National Social Report in which qualityof-life indicators would be assembled and evaluated; and the Reagan administration's effort to establish a National Indicators System within the White House. Despite these useful experiments and initiatives, there seems to be no prospect (or danger) that the social sciences will soon be asked to staff a Council of Social Advisors, produce a "Social Report of the President," and create social analogues of the GNP and the national income and product accounts.
The Center's work is complete as it stands I would liken the Center's closing to the circumstances surrounding Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. To appreciate why Schubert never extended this symphony beyond the first two movements (even though he lived another six years and wrote many more compositions) one has to listen to his sketches for the third movement. If one does, one realizes that the appellation "U .1 finished Symphony" is a misnomer. The work is complete as it stands! Even a musical genius like Schubert could find no way to add to it without diminishing the previous achievement. Murray Abom National Science Foundation (In a letter to Kenneth C. Land, August I, 1983)
Accomplishment of scientific goals The scientific foundatirms of social indicators have been laid, supporting research not only within the field but throughout the social sciences. An increasing number of social scientists are doing research on social change. Substantial advances have been made in the availability and use of government and private survey data. A large number and great variety of baseline studies have been replicated, frequently sev-
U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Toward Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1969. II
a Social Reporl. II)
Social Science Research Council, op. cil. 1973, pages i-ii .
eral times, and the principle of replication is widely encouraged. Large national programs for the collection of time series data are recognized as collective resources for the social sciences, as evidenced by their preservation even during the present period of budgetary restraint for social science research. There is extensive scientific work on the measurement and analysis of subjective aspects of the quality of life. Perhaps the main difficulty facing any serious assessment of social indicators, and the Council's role in developing them, is the blending of social indicators with contemporary trends in quantitative social science. This phenomenon, in which the ideas and aims of the field of social indicators have spread far beyond the field and have become institutionalized in a variety of ways (while the field itself may be uncredited), has been noted by the German sociologist Wolfgang Glatzer. In remarks to the World Congress of Sociology in 1982, Mr. Glatzer said: ... it is hardly likely that social indicators research will continue as an independent research tradition in the long run. Much more likely is the possibility that the approaches to problems developed during the course of this research will become integral parts of a number of diverse and more theoretically oriented research traditions ... In this sense, the role of social indicators research could be fulfilled when it ceases to exist as an independent research tradition. 12
The sociologist Robert K. Merton has described this pattern in science as "obliteration by incorporation, or OBI, for short"-"obliteration of the source of ideas or findings by their incorporation in currently accepted knowledge."13 It remains to be seen whether the OBI of social indicators, if indeed that is what is happening, is an entirely positive development for the continued pursuit of social indicators goals, but it is clear that the incorporation of the field's- ideas into a variety of fields has been welcomed by a number of social scientists.
The decision to close the Center At the beginning of 1983, the Center was approaching the end of its multiyear grant from the National Science Foundation. As is customary in the case of all Council activities, the group responsible for the Council's programs, the Committee on Prob12 Wolfgang Glatzer, "Actors and Approaches in Social Indicators Research." Paper prepared for the symposium "Problems of Social Indicators: Their Role in Social Development," Tenth World Congress of Sociology, Mexico City, August 1982. 13 Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure. Revised edition. New York: Free Press, 1968, pages 27-28 and 35--38.
lems and Policy, reviewed the Council's program in social indicators. In consultation with the Committee on Social Indicators and other concerned scholars in the field, as well as with officers at the National Science Foundation knowledgeable about the field, it was concluded that the Council could best pursue the next steps in its agenda for social indicators by restructuring the program. The social indicators program will now be centered in the Committee on Social Indicators, which-no longer required to serve as the board of the Center-will function as a research planning committee. These activities and the staff assigned to them have been transferred to the Council's New York headquarters. 14 This consolidation of the Council's program will permit closer coordination of social indicators work with the programs of other committees, including standing programs in comparative stratification, life-course perspectives on human development, research on the 1980 Census, and records of government, as well as with exploratory programs in science and technology and in the collection of data for longitudinal research. Such coordination is consistent with the incorporation of social indicators research into other fields. Basing this program in New York also permits considerable economies. 15 14 Robert W. Pearson and Richard C. Rockwell, staff associates, have joined the New York staff of the Council. Robert Parke, director of the Center, has resigned from the Council to join the staff of the National Cancer Institute (see page 103 below). The library of the Center has been donated to the Bureau of Social Science Research in Washington (see box on page 93). 15 The Center that the Council created is in part less needed today because of the activities of other organizations. Within the Council itself, the continuing work of the Committee on Social Indicators is complemented by programs of several other research planning committees. Outside the Council, the Committee on National Statistics of the National Research Council-National Academy of Sciences provides policy guidance for the application of statistics to problems of national and scientific interest as varied as skin cancer, incomplete data, attitudes and other subjective phenomena, and family welfare. This committee has become an important locus for scholarly discussions concerning statistical issues. The major goals of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) are to inform professional users and producers of federal statistics about developments which will affect the collection, dissemination, and use of statistical data, and to bring the views of its members individually and collectively to bear on decisions by the administration and Congress. Founded in 1979, on the recommendation of a committee chaired by Robert Parke, COPAFS is a coalition of 13 professional associations directed by Katherine K. Wallman and headquartered in Washington, D.C. New journals provide communication on statistical issues; these include Social Indicators Research, the Review of Public Data Use, the Joumal of Busille~s and Ecollomic Stati.ltics, and American Demographics.
The Council believes that the Center has fulfilled its prime mission of protecting and expanding the scientific foundations of the field. By not putting its weight behind a political agenda, the Center may have contributed to the fading of that agenda, and there are many who would also count this to the credit of the Center. As the Council's Board of Directors stated in its resolution honoring Robert Parke for his achievements, "[the Center's] activities have had a substantial impact upon both the methodology of the
social sciences and the scientific content of the statistical programs of the federal government." Although the organizational structure of the Council's work has shifted, its commitment to pursuing this set of research questions has not. As an aspect of this commitment, the Committee on Social Indicators will continue its work of shaping the statistical information system on which researchers, policy makers, and the public depend. D
Recollections and Views of Key Figures in the Social Indicators Program ELEANORBERNERTSHELDON
with the active encouragement of Bert [Orville G.] Brim [then president of the Russell Sage Foundation] Mrs. Sheldon, a sociologist, was a student of William F. first began working on the measurement of social Ogburn at the University of Chicago. After receiving a change during the mid-sixties, we of course reexamPh.D. in 1949, she became a research associate at the ined the work of [William Fielding] Ogburn and his Bureau of Applied Social Research at Columbia University colleagues on Recent Social Trends in the United States. l and later a lecturer in sociology. During this period she also We learned that aside from Ogburn's continued served the Social Science Research Council as a member of work, the related Census monograph programs, and its staff and the United Nations in its Population Division. other trend analyses in demography, little had been From 1955 to 1961, she taught sociology at the University of done in the area. California, Los Angeles; from 1961 to 1972, she was an American society at the time was perceived to be officer of the Russell Sage Foundation. She was president of undergoing rapid social change-racial unrest, riots the Council from 1972 to 1979. in the streets, and student demonstrations were prevWhat follows is an edited transcript of an interview with alent. How could we monitor and understand the Mrs. Sheldon conducted by Richard C. Rockwell of the perceived changes? We were poorly equipped to anCouncil staff on January 3, 1984. The questions that elifor only then was there an inswer this question, cited the recollections have not been reproduced. As in other creasing disenchantment among many social scientists presentations of oral recollections, there are no bridges bewith the prevailing structural-functional framework. tween thoughts. Nor are events arranged in chronological It was the time of a re-emergence of interest in social 01'der as they would be in a more formal statement. These change. recollections of one who was "present at the creation" of the We faced the task of conceptualizing the various social indicators movement provide an important hist01ical of American society and their interrelationsectors perspective on the origins and eady development of the field. ships, and then determining what data existed and THE CENTER-established in 1972-was the direct outgrowth of research on social indicators begun at the Russell Sage Foundation, although its historical roots are much deeper. When Wilbert Moore and I, 78
I President's Research Committee on Social Trends, Recent Social Trends illihe United States. 2 volumes. New York: McGraw-Hill,
what they told us of recent trends. Our volume, Indicators of Social Change,2 provided a first-attempt outline of the sectors and their interrelationships, and the commissioned papers were based on analyses of some of the data. This was a beginning. We asked Dan Bell for help in elaborating a theoretical framework for future efforts in the measurement of social change. We responded enthusiastically to Angus Campbell's suggestion that we not overlook the subjective aspects of objective social change. 3 We asked [Otis] Dudley Duncan to outline an agenda for research in the field. 4 Early in the planning for our initial endeavors we learned from Al [Albert D.] Biderman5 of the work being done on social indicators by Ray Bauer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 6 Ray was particularly interested in examining the consequences of change as a basis for providing policy recommendations. The Foundation's program was somewhat different in that its primary motivation was to establish a theoretical base, data, and measurement techniques for understanding social change. It was not that we eschewed the importance of "policy analysis" but rather that we considered our effort as parallel-or even a precursor-to it. In 1966, John Gardner [then secretary of the u.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare] convened a large group of scientists [chaired by Daniel Bell and William Gorham, the latter replaced by Alice Rivlin路 when Gorham left HEW] for the purpose of discussing the usefulness and content of a social report. Many months, headaches, and disagreements later, HEW published Toward a Social Report,1 prepared by Mancur Olson. Scholars associated with the Russell Sage Foundation and HEW efforts convened with others to ex-
2 Eleanor Bernert Sheldon and Wilbert E. Moore, editors, Indicators of Social Change: Concepts and Measurements. New York:
Russell Sage Foundation, 1968. 3 Angus Campbell and Phillip E. Converse, editors, The Human Meaning of Social Change. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1972. 4 Otis Dudley Duncan, Toward Social Reporting: Next Steps. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1969. 5 Albert D. Biderman, "Social Indicators and Goals." Chapter 2 in Raymond A. Bauer, editor, Social Indicators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1966. 6 Bauer, op. cit. 7 U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Toward a Social Report. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1969. DECEMBER
amine the document and to try to redefine the emerging and amorphous field of work. We found it necessary to distinguish the many promised uses of social indicators, primarily to prevent their use as a proxy for evaluation research and social experimentation. It was a time when many social programs were instituted, many claims were being made for them, and many questions were being asked about them. Evaluation research and social experiments were new endeavors. As a result of these and other discussions, Howard Freeman and I made a distinction between evaluation research and social indicators in an attempt to suggest some boundaries for research in social indicators-and to curb the intense fashionableness and cavalier invocation of indicators. 8 Russell Sage Foundation-dogged in its attempt to assemble and analyze data on social trends-opened an office in Washington for this purpose. We shared space with the Social Science Research Council, which was then focusing attention on the BASS Report [Survey of the Behavioral and Social Sciences]9-one chapter of which would be concerned with social indicators. From the Foundation office came the publications by Abbott Ferriss, on trends in the family, education, and the status of women. to Senator [Walter F.] Mondale at that time noted the appropriateness of social indicators for the proposed Council of Social Advisors and the preparation of an annual social report of the president. We did not favor the effort. l l We testified against it, and suggested alternatives such as adding other social scientists to the Council of Economic Advisors or establishing a joint Council of Economic and Social Advisors. Ken [Kenneth C.] Land joined the Foundation effort, at first on a pa.rt-time basis while fulfilling his responsibilities as an SSRC postdoctoral fellow. We collaborated in preparing a chapter for the Presi-
8 Eleanor Bernert Sheldon and Howard E. Freeman, "Notes on Social Indicators: Promises and Potential." Policy Sciences, 1, 1970, pages 97-111. 9 Behavioral and Social Sciences Survey Committee, The Behavioral and Social Sciences: Outlook and Needs. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1969. 10 Abbott Ferriss,lndicators of Trends in American Education. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1969. Also, Indicators of Change in the American Family. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1970, and Indicators of Trends in the Status of Women . New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1971. II Eleanor Bernert Sheldon and Wilbert E. Moore, "Statement Relating to the Proposed Council of Social Advisors (S. 843)." American Psychologist, 22 November 1967, pages 997-999.
dent's Commission on Federal Statistics. 12 Among the other recommendations in this chapter is a statement on the need for a center to coordinate research on social indicators. It was suggested that this center be housed at the Councilor at an equally independent institution. At this time, the internationalization of the field was recognized by the British Social Science Research Council and the American Council, which jointly sponsored a conference on social indicators, held at Ditchley Park in England. The National Science Foundation was also interested in the place of social indicators in current and future social science research. Many of us participated in the discussions convened by the Foundation. Murray Aborn [Division of Social and Economic Science, National Science Foundation] considered establishing a clearinghouse on social indicators and had looked into several suggestions from a number of institutions that were possible locales for such a facility. I understand that Ralph Tyler [then acting president of the Council] and Murray discussed the possibility of the Council submitting a proposal. While still at the Russell Sage Foundation, I suggested that the Council would be a more appropriate locale for such an effort than any single university, at which a few professors might capture the momentum of the field to further the interests of their own institution. Several months later, I became president of the Council. The combination of my own background and interests and the Council's prior discussions with the National Science Foundation brought to a head the decision that the Council should formally propose the establishment of a center under its aegis. I hired Bob Parke [then deputy director of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future] as director of the Center and persuaded Dudley Duncan [then at the University of Michigan] to become chairman of the Advisory and Planning Committee on Social Indicators. I deliberately established the Center in Washington not only because of its proximity to federal data sources but also because I wished to ensure that the organization would set its own agenda with a strong chairman, committee, and director. I also wished to maximize the Center's independence from me-both
as the president of the Council and as a perceived leader in the field who once held major financial and thereby some intellectual reins on the field.
In addition to the Russell Sage Foundation interest in indicators of social change and the Bauer-Olson kind of interest in the policy uses of social indicators, there were two other sources of what became the social indicators movement in the 1960s. First, many of the major actors were trained at the University of Chicago, with Ogburn. These included Dudley Duncan, Al [Albert].] Reiss Or.], Al Biderman, and me. Another root nourishing the social indicators work was my experience as a staff member of the Council, following graduate study at Chicago. I came to the Council to examine the possibilities of pulling together the papers of Louis Wirth. I was unsuccessful in that task, but I did meet Donald Young [then president of the Russell Sage Foundation and a director of the Council] who suggested that I assist in developing the 1950 Census monograph program. Ogburn was a member of the committee that initiated this program. I worked on the design of the program, the subject matters to be covered, and recommended at least some of the persons to be approached as authors. These included Dudley Duncan and Al Reiss. Thus, the program on social indicators was an outgrowth, an accumulation of the shared scholarly experience of many colleagues from Chicago, the Russell Sage Foundation, and elsewhere. It was not born in 1972, or in the mid-sixties, but had been developing over many decades. Never did I view social indicators as an endeavor separate from the disciplines. I t was not intended to be a distinct discipline, as one may view sociolinguistics. It was instead a cross-disciplinary effort that could be absorbed by the disciplines: an intellectual effort to which sociologists, economists, social psychologists, political scientists, and others could contribute. Many scholars, both currently and throughout the history of social thought, have worked toward evolving a theory of social change. My long term aim-an aim for a generation or more, not for a decade-was for social science to develop a theoretical concept of social change and some measures thereof. I was seeking an overarching conceptual framework of social change and a set of measures to tie this framework empirically to observed social change. Although this was my objective, I did not believe I t Eleanor Berner! Sheldon, "Social Reporting in the 1970s."' In Federal Statistics: Report of the Pre.\路idellt's Commission. Washing- that the Center would be a perpetual focal point in ton, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1971, Volume 2, pages encouraging its attainment. In fact, from the first 403-435. discussions of the Center, everyone involved saw it as
having a limited life-as a resource for and coordinator Biderman [Bureau of Social Science Research] saw of research in its initial phases. If the Center were economic life as presupposing a structure of social successful in fulfilling its purposes, the research institutions and wanted indicators reflective of these momentum provided by the researchers themselves institutions, not just of the values served by economic and new institutional arrangements would replace the processes. 3 Angus Campbell [University of Michigan] Center. To a considerable extent, I think that this has wanted measures of the subjective experiences of life. 4 occurred. However, we have not evolved a conceptual Eleanor Sheldon wanted to measure changes in socistatement, an overarching framework. We have ety, both objective and subjective. 5 moved only a short distance in achieving the grand In separate papers, Ken Land [University of concept, but the momentum toward that aim is con- Texas]6 and Al Reiss [Yale University F have done a tinuing. I had hoped that in time data collection nice job stating the aims and accomplishments of would be less ad hoc and that measures would take on work in social indicators. Land approached the subinterconnected meanings. But this requires a mid- ject as a chronicler of the field. He described the dle-range theory that has yet to be developed. In its different objectives sought by the participants (norabsence, it is less possible to provide cumulative mative welfare indicators, satisfaction indicators, and knowledge of social change, let alone monitor it. 0 descriptive social indicators). He also outlined variant conceptions of the utility of social indicators: one, emphasizing the policy-analytical uses, which focus on the role of indicators in managing organizations; and the other, emphasizing the uses of social indicators ROBERT PARKE in social reporting, for the enlightenment of a broad Mr. Parke, a sociologist, seroed as director of the Coun- public. He focused on the descriptive social indicacil's Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indica- tors-social reporting approach, which is the approach tors from its establishment in 1972 until its closing in 1983. that the Council has taken to the subject, and idenHis professional career is summarized on page 103. tified three contributions to this approach: the develWhat follows is based on his responses to four questions opment of replication and longitudinal studies, anaasked during an interoiew conducted by Richard C. lytical studies of social change and social reports, and Rockwell and David L. Sills of the Council staff in December formal models of social change. 1983. Reiss accepted the descriptive social indicators-reporting view of the task and focused on its presup(1) Since 1965, the social indicators field in the United States has attracted the efforts of a number of leading social scientists and a reasonably high level of financial support. What are some of the primary accompl ishments as well as residues and offshoots of this investment of time and funds? Of these, which is most important and why?
The idea was to put indicators and reporting on a far broader footing than that furnished by economic indicators and economic reporting. Mancur Olson [now University of Maryland] saw societal decisions increasingly being made by political processes rather than by market processes, and wanted social indicators to improve the basis for policy making" Daniel Bell [now Harvard University] saw social indicators as furnishing information on the dysfunctional aspects of economic growth and offering correctives to economic statistics as the basis for public decisions. 2 Al
Mancur Olson, "The Plan and Purpose of a Social Report."
The Public Interest, 15 (Spring 1969):85-97. 2 Daniel Bell, "The Idea of a Social Report." The Public Interest, 15 (Spring 1969): 72-84.
3 Albert D. Biderman, "Social Indicators and Goals." Chapter 2 in Raymond A. Bauer, editor, Sociallndicaton. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1966. 4 Angus Campbell and Philip E. Converse, editors, The Human Meaning of Social Change. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1972. 5 Eleanor Bernen Sheldon and Howard E. Freeman, "Notes on Social Indicators: Promises and Potential." Policy Sciences, I (1970):97-111. See also Eleanor Bernert Sheldon and Wilbert E. Moore, editors, indicaton of Socuzl Change: COTlCepLf and MeafUremenis. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1968. 6 Kenneth C. Land, "Social Indicators." In Annual Rl!lJiew of Sociology. Palo Alto, California : Annual Reviews, 1983. 7 Albert J. Reiss, Jr., "Statistical Measurement of Social Change." Chapter 5 in Social Science Research Council, "The Five-Year Outlook for Science and Technology: Social and Behavioral Sciences." In National Science Foundation, The 5-Year Outlookfor Science and Technology. Source Materials, Volume 2. Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation, 1981, pages 649-667.
positions and on where the problems are. He pointed out the role of our conceptualization of social phenomena and the effect this has on measures and the uses that can be made of these measures. He emphasized the importance of analytic ideas, such as the concept of cohort in the study of change, and he demonstrated the importance of monitoring the assumptions made in modeling social change. Reiss' treatment of policy interests was more sympathetic than Land's, because he saw models as the primary point at which social science becomes known to policy makers. Both Reiss and Land see the subject as social change and the tasks as ones of conceptualization, measurement, and analysis. For both, a central task is the replication of baseline measures, a strategy articulated by Dudley Duncan [now University of California, Santa Barbara].8 For both, the development of social reports for the dissemination of knowledge about social change is a key function. Judging by their standards, which I share, I think you can see several ways in which we are much better off than we were. These are the ways in which the practices of social science and official statistics have become more congenial to the aims and practices associated with the idea of social indicators and social reporting: (1) in social science, replication is well established as a mode of research; (2) over-time analysis has become dominant: we are no longer satisfied with explanations that are derived from cross-sectional relationships; (3) we have a far richer data base for over-time analysis than ever before;9 (4) U.S. government agencies, and the governments of many other countries, now routinely report on changes in social conditions that are relevant to their aims and programs; (5) the scientific legitimacy of subjective measures of social conditions has been clearly established; 10 and (6) the field has its own journal, Social Indicators Research, which is now entering its 14th year of publication. However, there is a lot of unfinished business: (1) there is still much confusion over what constitutes
8 Otis Dudley Duncan, Toward Social Reporting: Next Steps. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1969. B Richard C. Taeuber and Richard C. Rockwell, " National Social Data Series: A Compendium of Brief Descriptions." Review of Public Data Use, 10/1/2): 23-111, May 1982. 10 Charles F. Turner and Elizabeth Martin, editors, Surveys of Subjective Phenomena: Summary Report. The report of the Panel on Survey Measurement of Subjective Phenomena, Committee on Na.tional Statistics, National Research Council. Washington, D.C. : National Academy Press, 1981 . See also Elizabeth Martin, "Public
a "social indicator": in some Dutch and Japanese reports, for example, social indicators are highly aggregated composites, presumed to measure welfare, but this was never the Center's preferred definition; (2) we have not addressed the problem of how to frame our concepts so as to permit revision without destroying continuity and our ability to measure change; (3) we have not thought much about our relationship to politics or to the political role of social reports; (4) we have given little thought to the conceptual development of social reports; (5) we have not focused on what is quintessentially social in society; and (6) we have never faced the paradigm problem that Ed Dunn [now Resources for the Future]11 once formulated . (2) Now that you can look back over more than 10 years of work in the field and the Council's involvement in it through the Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indicators, what do you see as one of the best things that the Center did? At the same time, is there a program that the Center might have carried out, and what would have been its advantages and disadvantages?
The Center was a visible expression of the importance of research as a mode of activity in the social indicators field. The rhetoric of the social indicators movement in the 1960s was laden with suggestions that social indicators would have fairly visible political consequences. It fell to the Council to assert the primacy of social research, to say that political promises must be set aside for the time being, that social science is not ready to deliver on them: the first task is a research task. This was the role that Eleanor Sheldon saw for the Council in the field of social indicator~. She defined this task as research on the measurement of social change. This put the Council squarely at odds with the dominant definition of social indicators, which was oriented toward the development of aggregated measures of social well-being. To repeat, the most important act of the Council was to define its role in social indicators as the promotion of a research agenda.
Opinion on Welfare and Related Issues." In Dorothy M. Gilford, Dennis P. Affholter, and Linda Ingram editors, Family Assistance and Poverty: An Assessment of Statistical Needs, Appendix D, pages 1-48. The Report of the Panel on Statistics for Family Assistance and Related Programs, Committee on National Statistics, National Research Council. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1983. 11 Edgar S. Dunn, Jr., Social Information Processing and Statistical Systems: Change and Reform. New York : Wiley, 1974. VOLUME
The most important thing that the Council did not do was to attempt to produce a private social report, a presentation of measures and analyses of the main trends in American society. This was an interesting and consequential choice, considering that an interest in social reporting is what distinguishes work on social indicators from other work in the social sciences, and that the key documents in the early years of the social indicators movement focused on social reports and social reporting. Beyond that, an emphasis on social reporting imparts a democratic flavor to the interest in social indicators, in contrast to the technocratic assumptions of some writing on the subject. Statistics for policy is often mistranslated as statistics for policy makers. Dudley Duncan early on suggested that the Advisory and Planning Committee on Social Indicators undertake the development of a social report. The committee declined to adopt this suggestion, saying that its role was to help the social sciences get ready to do social reporting. This was an influential decision, since it made room for a preoccupation with indicators questions focused on data bases and measurement problems in specific substantive areas. Periodically, the participants in the Center's program looked up from their social indicators agenda and worried about social reporting, prompted by Duncan and by the work of Wolfgang Zapf and his associates at the University of Mannheim. But we did little about this until, in the late 1970s, we undertook to sponsor scholarly social reports. This decision was based on a dissatisfaction with the chartbook model of social reporting followed by most government statistical agencies, and by the conviction, urged on us by Jim Davis [Harvard University] that the social sciences are stockpiling, and are doing a poor job of disseminating, a great many findings of general importance. Under these circumstances, the committee felt a responsibility to find a way to encourage social reporting by social scientists. The project was conceived as an exploration of the ways scientists might do social reports; it has evolved into a publication program with well worked-out objectives and requirements for authors. We did Council-lik~ things. We organized statements of the state of the art, as in the Juster-Land conference volume on social accounting. 12 And we
12 F. Thomas Juster and Kenneth C. Land, editors, Social Accounting Systems: Essays on the Stale of the Art. New York: Aca-
demic Press, 1981. DECEMBER
provided a forum for considering new directions for development, as in our conference on organizational indicators. A useful role we played was developing relationships with federal statistical activities. These were of several kinds. At Duncan's suggestion, we adopted the role of commenting systematically on official social indicators publications, such as Social Indicators, 1973. We asked Bob Merton [Columbia University], Harriet Zuckerman [Columbia University], and a few of their associates to organize commentary on the first issue of the National Science Board's Science Indicators, and over the years we helped define the research agenda in science indicators, in and out of governmentP The report of our Advisory Group on Child and Family Indicators made specific suggestions for retabulation and remeasurement in government survey data, along with a strong statement of the research stakes in public and private data on children. 14 We also adopted the role of advocate when data bases that were perceived as being important for social indicators were in jeopardy. For example, Bob Hauser [University of Wisconsin] alerted us that the NLS [National Longitudinal Survey of Labor Market Experience] was in danger of losing its funding. and we responded by convening a conference on its research uses. IS The ISDP [Income Survey Development Program of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Bureau of the Census] was suddenly cancelled, and with Martin David's [University of Wisconsin] leadership we responded with a conference and a conference publication in order to capture some of the wisdom of that experience. 16 We shared with other colleagues a concern over how the massive recasting of official occupation statIstIcs would impair over-time social analysis. and we re-
13 Yehuda Elkana, Joshua Lederberg, Robert K. Merton, Arnold Thackray, and Harriet Zuckerman, editors, Toward a Metric of Science: The Advent of Science Indicators. New York: WileyInterscience, 1978. 14 Harold W. Watts and Donald]. Hernandez, editors, Child and Family Indicators: A Report with Recommendations. Washington, D.C.: Social Science Research Council, 1982. 15 William T. Bielby, Clifford B. Hawley, and David Bills, Research Uses of the National Longitudinal Surveys. R&D Monograph 62. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 1979. 16 Martin H. David, editor, Technical, Conceptual, and Administrative Lessons of the Income Survey Development Program (ISDP). New York: Social Science Research Council, 1983.
sponded by appointing a subcommittee to develop a way to bridge the gap.17 Looking back, a good part of our intellectual agenda developed as an unintended outcome of such efforts to save data programs. A lasting effect of the Center will be on the careers it has affected. A charter member of the committee, Steve Fienberg [now at Carnegie- Mellon University] has given a large part of his career to the scientific agenda of that committee, through his involvement as organizer or' the ASA [American Statistical Association] committee on crime statistics, his role as chairman of the National Research Council Committee on National Statistics, his role as a public spokesman for the public and research stakes in the official statistical system, and most recently as a board member of the Council. Nick Zill and Pete Peterson, both former Center staffers, are the senior social science staff of Child Trends [Washington, D.C.], an organization whose mission is the development and reporting of measures of the well-being of children in the United States. Its style of operation reflects its philosophy (and that of the Center), that social indicators are developed in interaction with federal statistical programs. Our biggest failure was the social indicators planning project. We did some worthwhile things under that project, including some things that furnished leadership to the field. But we did not develop the broad guidelines for development of the field that we had hoped to. In seeking a renewal of our multiyear funding in the mid-1970s, we had said we wanted to do more of what we had already done with considerable success: taking responsibility for scientific communications (library, the Newsletter), furnishing broad intellectual guidance to the field (critiques of official publications, research conferences), and serving as a research-oriented watchdog to bring the needs of social indicators research to the attention of statistical program managers so as to insure the representation of those interests in the planning and management of data bases on which research depended. Asked for a master plan, we said we had none; we were systematic
opportunists, responding to targets of opportunity, as we did effectively on a number of occasions. Phil Converse [University of Michigan], who was then chairman, eloquently espoused the strategy of systematic opportunism when we were site-visited by NSF in 1977, saying we were looking over the field and filling in elements of the mosaic. That wasn't enough for the site visitors, who said they wanted the Council to design the mosaic. We agreed to give it a try. I now believe that the site committee was mistaken in trying to so alter the terms of a grant request, that NSF was mistaken in permitting it, and that we were unwise to accept the responsibility and ask for funds to do it. The planning project became a dominant preoccupation in the ensuing years, but was never adequately conceptualized. We did, as I say, some worthwhile things under the auspices of the planning project. Not surprisingly, they are the sort of things we had done successfully in our role as systematic opportunists. The TaeuberRockwell publication is an example}8 It is a description of over-time data bases for the United States. It has been enormously useful. It is of a piece with the catalogue of over-time materials in the holdings of the Roper Center in New Haven. 19 It describes. It selects and gathers useful information. The Social Indicators Newsletter was a success on the same grounds. It offered excellent descriptions of a highly selected body of materials that we judged to be most important for indicators research. In that, it helped to define the field. But it did so by description and example, not by prescription-not by suggesting wise things for someone else to do. (3) To what programs should the field give priority over the next decade?
I think there are two major areas for research in the field. One is in the area of the concepts underlying the social and demographic time series of social indicators. The other is the area of social reporting. The main scientific contribution that the social science professions make to social indicators is their
Richard C. Taeuber and Richard C. Rockwell, op. cit. Jessie C. Southwick and Philip K. Hastings, editors. Survey Datafor Trend Arullysis: An Index to Repeated Questions in U.S. National Surveys Held by the Roper Public 0pini01Z Research Center. Williamstown, Massachusetts : Roper Public Opinion Research Center; New York: Social Science Research Council, 1975. 18
11 Charles B. Nam, Alternative Methodsfor Effecting the Comparability of Occupation Measurement Over Time. Report of the Subcommittee on Comparability of Occupation Measurement. Washington, D.C.: Social Science Research Council, 1983.
ideas, especially the substantive concepts they have developed in order to aid discovery and thinking about society. The concepts are at once the most fundamental of our contributions and the least examined. Concepts underlying employment data have received periodic attention, most recently by the Levitan Commission. But similar examinations are rarely conducted of such basic concepts as residence or education. The agenda for scholarly work on the scrutiny and revision of concepts is long-term and inexhaustible. For that reason, it is probably best initially to adopt a limited strategy, focusing on a particular subset of concepts. The territorial and familial concepts to be used in the 1990 Census of Population offer one such package around which there are both scientific and political issues. A fundamental concept here is the idea of "usual residence," which governs the rules by which the Census assigns people to places-and this assignment underlies the apportionment of Congressional seats, the enumeration of aliens, and the distribution of public funds. I think that this concept is getting us in trouble thanks to the emergence of dual residence on a widespread basis. We badly need structural studies of the ways in which people are connected to places. Family concepts are related to residence concepts, and need to be rethought in light of the growing independence among the basic dimensions of family organization in our society: descent, marriage, and coresidence. 2o â&#x20AC;˘ 21 What might be some of the aims of scholars setting out to do research on concepts? First, it is necessary to review the concepts and their measures in historical detail, taking particular note of changes that have occurred in data collection and in reporting of results. Second, explore how changes in science and society have affected the uses of the concept. Third, survey the range of interests held by scientists in these concepts and the stakes in continuity or change held by different sectors of the public, statistical agencies, and science itself. Fourth, alternates have to be devised and tests implemented. And fifth, we need to ensure the comparability of elements of time series where change in concepts has been deemed necessary. Dealing with the question of concepts involves continuing work with the official agencies. For much of
20 Judith Blake, "Structural Differentiation and the Family: A Quiet Revolution." In Amos H. Hawley, editor, Societal Growth. New York: Free Press, 1979, pages 179-201. 21 Andrew J. Cherlin, Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1981.
the subject matter we are talking about, these agencies are the keepers of the concepts. Public and private surveys and research efforts and professional and popular thinking on these topics are keyed to statistical standards followed by the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other agencies. But the scrutiny and revision of concepts is thejob of the whole community of national statistics. In social reporting, we have a bit of theory and a lot of practice. The theory of social reporting has received little recent attention in this country. The main people who have written about it in recent years are Europeans, Sten Johansson 22 and Wolfgang ZapfP On the other hand, our statistical agencies, and some statistical arms of policy agencies, have been quite active in producing reports, and I have spent some time figuring out what we learn from the study of them. A concern with social reporting has interesting consequences for our perspective on the social indicators enterprise. It takes our mind off technical matters and leads us to look at the political context and political role of social reporting. Several Council activities are at present close to these concerns. One is the volume on indicators that Duncan MacRae [University of North Carolina] is writing in association with the social indicators committee. Another is the committee's program of commissioned scholarly social reports. But the Council activity that at present is closest to these concerns is the Committee for Research on the 1980 Census, with its forthcoming conference volume on the political economy of national statistics. (4) Which of these programs should receive attention from the Committee on Social Indicators or other Council research planning committees?
I think the Council is on the right track with its inquiry into social forecasting by the social indicators committee. It is on the right track in pursuing the political economy of statistics under the auspices of the Committee for Research on the 1980 Census. I hope the Council will find a way to deal with the intellectual problems in the scrutiny and revision of meaSUI'ement concepts and the maintaining of the
22 Sten Johansson, "Toward a Theory of Social Reporting." Stockholm, Sweden: Swedish Institute for Social Research, 1976. Paper presented at the Third Nordic Research Symposium on Social Policy, Hanasaari, Finland, September 1976. 23 Wolfgang Zapf, "Applied Social Reporting: A Social Indicators System for West German Society." Socia/Indicators Research, 6 ( 1979):397-419.
An effort of that kind was actually mounted and got off to a flying start, but it marked no clear path and was ultimately superseded by other approaches . This fate notwithstanding, the essential idea provides a way of responding to the first question that may be illuminating. The International Decade of Ocean Exploration (IDOE) shares with social indicators the following features: (1) its origins were international but the United States played a major role; (2) its stirrings go back to the early 1960s, but its activities took place in the 1970s; (3) it was motivated by such concerns as environmental quality and equity in the sharing of resources; (4) it recognized that to understand complex systems, short-term studies had to be supplanted MURRA Y ABORN by baseline surveys and sustained longitudinal monitoring; (5) it called for an emphasis on large-scale Mr. Aborn, trained as a psychologist, has been an officer efforts by groups of specialists in place of research by of the National Science Foundation since 1963, currently individual scientists; (6) it suffered from funding deserving as head of the Social Measurement and Analysis ficiencies vis-a.-vis its originally anticipated goals; and Section and Program Director, Measurement Methods and (7) it was hampered by less-than-ideal collaboration Data Resources, Division of Social and Economic Science. among participating agencies and by an academic After receiving a Ph.D. in 1950 from Columbia University, community unaccustomed to working on tightly he served as a psychology instructor at Michigan State Unicoordinated projects. To this list I would add a probversity, as a research psychologist with the Air Research and lem which turned out to be more troublesome to the Development Command, USAF, as the executive secrefield of social indicators, but one that also had to be tary for the Behavioral Sciences Study Section, Division of considered in IDOE: how to maintain the distinctiveResearch Grants, National Institutes of Health, and as ness of a program composed of established disciplines executive secretary for the Behavioral Sciences Training having research traditions and reward systems of Program of the National Institute of General Medical Scitheir own. ences. Admittedly, we come to an abrupt divergence beMr. Aborn has been familiar with the Center's operations tween IDOE and social indicators when we learn that since its establishment. He served as the principal program IDOE began with a flotilla of vessels at its disposal, officer in reviewing the initial and all subsequent proposals, including deep submergence research vehicles, seisand he monitored the Center grant, doing the staff work for mic devices and other kinds of sophisticated inall assessments-internal and external~hich the F aundation strumentation, and access to satellites and computers. conducted throughout the life of the Center grant. Except for computers, social indicators began with What follows are his responses to four questions that were nothing even remotely approaching such resources submitted to him by the staff of the Council. and instrumentation; yet, fostered by some of the same social forces which brought IDOE into being (1) Since 1965, the social indicators field in the United States has attracted the efforts of a number of leading ("enhanced utilization of the ocean and its resources social scientists and a reasonably high level of financial for the benefit of mankind"), it marched forth to support. What are some of the primary accomplishments as overcome a range of world-class difficulties exceeding well as residues and offshoots of this investment of time anything that IDOE had to contend with. Well, then, given the programmatic similarities and and funds? Of these, which is most important and why? technological disparities between the two programs, One of the most inspired notions to come out of the how do they tally up in terms of achievements and manifold deliberations of the Council's Committee on likely future directions? First, we must set aside the Social Indicators was the suggestion that inquiries be dramatic discoveries attributed to IDOE for which we made of key planners in the natural sciences to see have no counterpart in social indicators. For example, whether the strategies employed in instances of plan- the causes of el Nino off the coast of Peru, or the ning in these sciences have anything to offer to the discovery of hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. task of planning for ~ocial indicators development. But a look at IDOE's more subtle and far-reaching continuity of time series. We have to find a way to deal with the question of scrutinylrevision/continuity as a single complex of problems, and pay continuing attention to it. This is what science has to offer to social measurement. The Council will be well advised to look to the sources of refreshment of what it calls its intellectual agenda in social indicators. Much of that agenda had its origins in watchdogging activities of a sort that are likely to prove difficult to sustain in the absence of a Center and a staff. 0
achievements brings it into closer alignment with the reported achievements of social indicators over the same time period. During that period, for instance, oceanography reportedly became less descriptive and increasingly quantitative; formal modeling of ocean circulation progressed greatly; data on the abundance and distribution of mineral deposits near the midocean ridge were compiled; archiving and exchange of data were better institutionalized; as a result of IDOE, ocean events are now seen as interrelated and will henceforth require cooperative, large-scale, multidisciplinary projects to investigate the underlying processes. The field of social indicators can lay claim to these same classes of achievement. Surely, its hallmark has become an intense empiricism and a quantitative outlook; surely, it stimulated the production of formal models of social change; certainly, it was a prime mover in the accumulation and compilation of information on social conditions as a prerequisite for understanding societal processes; assuredly, the consciousness of organizations in and out of government was raised regarding the importance of regularizing the preservation and dissemination of social data; and, assuredly, the start of serious work on social accounting demonstrated that systems capable of comprehending the interrelatedness of social events would be necessary for the interpretation of indicators, and that the development of such systems would require multidisciplinary participation. Social indicators did a bit better than IDOE in getting a monitoring system going owing to the advent of funding increases for the maintenance of longitudinal data series (whereas no ocean monitoring system has developed under IDOE owing in part to funding deficiencies), and social indicators' entry into the realm of social forecasting seems to have evoked the same hopeful-but-cautious reaction that IDOE's early attempts at forecasting climate did. On the one hand, there is the danger of posing artful analogies to the achievements of IDOE, overlooking the enviable clarity of its concepts and the precision of its measurements. On the other hand, especially considering the enormous difference in scale of endeavor and resource availability, the similarity between the more subtle and far-reaching impacts of IDOE and those of social indicators provides, at this early juncture, some standard for judging which activities of the latter represent its most important achievements and why. By the aforementioned standard, the modeling of social change, regularly repeated observations of social conditions, the maintenance of canonical data bases, the developDECEMBER
ment of social accounting systems, social forecasting-these are the field's leading achievements, and the reason is that they are apt to constitute its most lasting influences. (2) Now that you can look back over more than 10 years of work in the field and the Council'S involvement in it through the Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indicators, what do you see as one of the best things that the Center did? At the same time, is there a program that the Center might have carried out, and what would have been its advantages and disadvantages?
The Center engaged in a great many creative and well-executed activities in fulfilling its charter and it is very difficult to choose "a best" from among them. A look at the Center's five primary functions reminds one of the staggering workload placed on the shoulders of a small staff and the awesome responsibilities vested in a new and necessarily inexperienced committee. Mobilize! Analyze! Catalyze! Stimulate! Bring about improvements, encourage applications, provide access, go international, penetrate the bureaucracy-so went the mandate. In retrospect, the difficulties to be surmounted call to mind P. G. Wodehouse's famous description of a one-armed blind man trying to feed a pound of melted butter to a wildcat with a red-hot needle. If I had to choose the best from among the many valuable functions the Center has served, I would choose two, not just one, in order to exemplify the range of activities in which the Center has excelled. This range spans activities rooted in the concept of the Center as a medium of information exchange to activities associated with the Center's "intellectual front end." The Social Indicators Newsletter, I believe, stands out as an example of the sorts of mechanisms employed by the Center to foster interdisciplinary and international communication in a field comprising different communities of scholars not normally in touch with one another and including both producers and users of indicator information. It was a quality publication which, throughout the Center's lifetime, was a key ingredient in the glue which held the field together. The Newsletter furnished a service; other activities provided intellectual leadership. Among them, the work of the Subcommittee on Science Indicators was unparalleled. The very creation of such a subcommittee was inspired, focusing as it did on a subarea of social indicators in which a series of official social reports was being launched, thereby providing a target for critical appraisal and a potential test bed for
experimentation. Science indicators were destined to become real-world stuff, and this subfield represented in microcosm nearly all the substantive, technical, and policy-related issues which were said to surround the social indicators enterprise. The question of whether the Center might have carried out some program additional to, or perhaps different from, the original agenda has no good answer. The Center had considerable operating leeway in which to pursue targets of opportunity, and it did so in a number of instances. I don't know of any lost opportunities, but in any event the Center could more easily be criticized for spreading its resources too thin than for not doing enough. If one were to speak of an underemphasis rather than of some new or different set of activities, however, I would opt for its tendency to back away from realworld entanglements. An NSF consultant on the Center grant once asked, "Who's out there breaking up the rocks while the Center goes about polishing the pebbles?" Of ÂŁOurse, a lot can be said for the wisdom of eschewing real-world contexts, considering the damage social science usually sustains when it enters the political arena prematurely. Still, the Center could be criticized for failing to place enough emphasis on forging the R&D link in the chain of applying basic research to practical problems. The field of social indicators is, after all, characterized by "a tendency to investigate problems which are of interest within the context of a broad political perspective," and by "a communicative and cooperative relationship between social science, public opinion, and public policy."1 There is a big difference between making a frontal assault on the problems of developing policy uses of social indicators and encouraging research and development on the problems of engineering scientific knowledge into workable applications. Too strict an orientation toward the laying of scientific foundations may have blinded the Center to that difference.
enterprise has run its course and its influences will soon be imperceptibly ensconced in the traditional disciplines, or whether one believes that the field must be maintained as an independent entity lest we lose an important means of making numbers more meaningful socially and more comprehensible to the general public. The former position implies that we ought henceforth to take a laissez faire attitude toward social indicators, allowing the conventional mechanisms and traditional approaches to function in bringing about the conceptual and methodological advances needed to make governmental statistics and other forms of societal measurement more applicable to social concerns. The latter implies something quite different. Under the former, there would be no need to engage in priority setting in order to guide programs which are responsible for, say, the maintenance of data bases or the conduct of analytical studies of social change. Under the latter, however, we would have to engage in much more than priority setting. We would have to create devices to keep the field cohesive, and we would have to invent ways of bringing together the human and financial resources necessary to mount large-scale R&D undertakings-undertakings of the size and scope necessary to make a dent in the enormous substantive, methodological, and engineering problems involved in almost any task you can think of that truly conforms to the original social indicators vIsIon. The kind of task that truly conforms to the original vision includes projects in such areas as social reporting, social accounting, and social forecasting. These areas are more likely to remain distinctively associated with the field, in contrast to others which merge more easily with traditional approaches. Therefore, I find this a good criterion to apply in determining priorities. Another criterion would be the feasibility of drawing together researchers willing to commit themselves to a common cause, and here again I think such al'eas as social reporting and social (3) To what programs should the field give priority over accounting are most apt to qualify. the next decade? Building and sustaining a research constituency would probably require some device modelled after The answer to this question depends a good deal on the National Bureau of Economic Research series of whether one subscribes to the proposition that social annual conferences on income and wealth which, in indicators research has made its mark, but that the addition to its fundamental contributions to national income accounting methodology, resulted in the formation of a professional society of international stature. Whether modelled after the income and wealth I Wolfgang (;lat7er, "Actor~ alld Approaches ill Social Indicators Research." Paper prepared for the symposium "Problems of conferences or some other type of organization, real Social Indicators: Their Role in Social Development," Tenth progress would require some stable forum where reWorld Congres~ of Sociology, ~Iexico City, 1982, page 23. searchers could discuss common problems and assess
each others' work. Such a forum, moreover, would be a natural source of guidance in determining priorities within the given area, a considerably more complex and difficult job than simply choosing from among the broad blocks of activity that went on during social indicators' decade of the 1970s. (4) Which of these programs should receive attention from the Committee on Social Indicators or other Council research planning committees?
The areas I have nominated for priority treatment fall foursquare within the Council's restructured social indicators program. While I thus obviously agree with what the Council has already decided concerning the future agenda for the social indicators committee, I do not agree with all elements of the restructured program as currently constituted. I see in that program a tendency to broaden the social indicators aegis, whereas I think it should be narrowed to cover as limited a number of topics and approaches as possible. I'm not certain that in the future social indicators should be doggedly pursued as a field of endeavor. But if one buys the proposition that it should be, then it makes little sense to me that it should strive to become all-encompassing rather than distinctive. For example, I am all for the Council's involvement with SIPP [the Bureau of the Census Survey of Income and Program Participation], just as I was highly favorable toward NSF support for what is now a major research project on recalibration of the Census occupational codes to achieve comparability over time. What I am not in favor of is placing such activities under the sponsorship of the Committee on Social Indicators. I said a moment ago that I am not certain whether social indicators should continue to be pursued as a particular field of endeavor-as a visible social scientific enterprise. I could be persuaded either way. But suppose for a moment we'were all to agree with the view of those who believe that the contributions of social indicators have become, or are becoming, ab-
sorbed into the armamentaria of the traditional disciplines, and that the cards are stacked against the field's continued existence as an independent entity. In that event, I would be inclined to look back and say that social indicators had more similarity with the International Decade of Ocean Exploration than implied in my earlier comparison of the two, where I was using IDOE as a standard against which to gauge the achievements of the field. Perhaps, through the social indicators "movement," the social sciences experienced their own little International Decade of Exploration-sort of a poor man's International Decade if you will, but a decade of exploration nonetheless. If one accepts such a perspective (or retrospective), then one could argue that there is no reason to perpetuate the movement, the field, or the dimensions of the original effort. This perspective prescribes only that the gains in knowledge and technique along with the influences and residues of the effort be preserved and nurtured, and this task might better be left in the hands of the traditional disciplines. Having presented a perspective which contraindicates the Council's restructured program, or at least suggests that elements of the program ought eventually be reassigned to committees other than the one currently concerned with social indicators, let me pose the thesis that a committee and a program committed to the original social indicators vision should be maintained and developed against the possibility of a great revival of interest in the original ideas. For example, it was not too long ago that we almost had a White House National Indicators System operating at the highest level of the federal government, and there is currently proposed legislation pending in the House of Representatives which would establish an Office of Critical Trends Assessment in the Executive Branch. Therefore, I applaud the Council's decision to restructure its former program and maintain the social indicators committee, although I caution the distinguished members of that body that it is likely to be all uphill work. 0
Social Indicators at the Council A review of the current program and an overview of future plans
by Richard C. Rockwell* THE COUNCIL'S PROGRAM in the field of social indicators research is now carried out by a number of research planning committees administered from New York. 1 The Committee on Social Indicators has chief responsibility for the program, assisted by several of its subcommittees. These include the subcommittees on the Comparability of Occupation Measurement, Social Trends in the United States, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Other Council committees may also contribute to the social indicators program, including groups focusing on comparative stratification research, life-course perspectives on human development, the records of government, and research on the 1980 Census. This potential for collaboration among scholars involved in a variety of research planning efforts is one of the advantages of the recent consolidation of the Council's program. A word about the Council's research planning committees may be helpful to those who have been acquainted with the Council largely through the Washington Center. Through such committees, the Council tries to advance research in the social sciences by giving attention to social scientific questions that show promise of responding to collaborative effort and discussion. I t gives priority to questions that involve the contributions of several disciplines and that might profit from international scholarly collaboration or comparative research. The Council's Committee on Problems and Policy reviews the broad research issues involved and appoints interdisciplinary committees of scholars for the purpose of developing research in a new field or a new direction. With the assistance of a member of the Council's staff of social scientists, these committees assess current knowledge, identify the field's research needs, and set priorities
for future research . In recent years, Council committees have annually sponsored some 70 to 80 conferences and workshops in which scholars assemble for these purposes; most conferences produce books, many of which have become influential in their fields. Committees have often directed the preparation of reference materials, and their staff has provided a clearinghouse for research. Some committees also sponsor predoctoral fellowship and P9stdoctoral grant programs. The current scientific agenda of the Committee on Social Indicators is well-suited to the research planning committee form of organization. This agenda was developed during meetings and conferences held during the past several years and during a field-wide planning project it undertook at the suggestion of the National Science Foundation. These inquiries have focused the committee's attention on five main areas-social reporting, forecasting methodology, organizational indicators, the imperfect fit of concepts and measures, and social accounting. In addition, work is continuing on science and technology and has begun on the new Survey of Income and Program Participation.
The description, explanation, and interpretation of social trends for audiences without technical training in the social sciences is called social reporting. Social reports highlight important relationships among trends and indicate their possible directions and the possible consequences of these different directions. It is believed that social reports can improve the quality of debate on many public issues. Advancing social reporting has been part of the committee's agenda since its inception and still merits much attention. In furtherance of this continuing interest in social reporting, Robert Parke has examined a variety of * The author, a sociologist, serves as staff to the Council's private and public social reports from several nations. Committee on Social Indicators. He has discussed the results of this review with the I Prior to the fall of 1983, this program was the responsibility of committee and has recently spoken on the topic to the the Council's Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indicators in Washington, D.C. The reasons for transferring this Washington Statistical Society, to the Societal Analysis program to the Council's headquarters in New York are de- Department of General Motors Research Lascribed in the article by Kenneth Prewitt, pages 74-78, above. boratories, and in a public lecture series at Statistics 90
Canada, Ottawa. His review provides an analysis of why some social reports have been more effective than others and offers ideas for improving social reporting in the United States. He expects to publish a paper on this topic in a scholarly journal. The committee will continue to sponsor its series of topical social reports, "Social Trends in the United States," published by Harvard University Press, under the editorship of James A. Davis, Harvard University, and John Modell, Carnegie-Mellon University.2 A planning group being organized by Kenneth C. Land, University of Texas, and Mr. Davis, will meet in early 1984 to consider further steps that the committee might take to advance social reporting. These steps include the possibility of seeking support for postdoctoral grants that will enable senior scholars to devote time to the preparation of social reports.
Forecasting methodology This is a neglected area for scientific study in the social indicators community, despite the fact that an interest in anticipating the future lies at the heart of the field. The committee is sponsoring a conference in 1984 on the scope, methods, limitations, and consequences of forecasting in both the social and natural sciences. Papers are being contributed by scientists from many disciplines, including climatology, eco2
For a description of this series, see pages 99-101, below.
nomics, geology, sociology, and statistics. Topics include the forecasting of phenomena as diverse as earthquakes and school enrollment; sources of error; and strategies for evaluating forecasts. The purpose of this effort is to consider issues and problems that seem to be common to forecasting in both the social and natural sciences, and to provide an opportunity for the exchange of knowledge among scientists from many disciplines. The conference had its origins in a prototype of such exchanges, a series of informal seminars at the Council in 1981-1982. Mr. Land and Stephen H. Schneider, National Center for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, Colorado), cochairs of the conference, will present the keynote paper, which is on isomorphisms between social and climatic forecasting. Case studies from several disciplines will be considered, along with general methodological problems, with the intent of uncovering technical and substantive issues that merit future attention from both social and natural scientists. Opportunities for continuing collaboration among the sciences will also be explored.
Organizational indicators Measures of the characteristics and behavior of organizations in society, including measures of their size, labor market role, consumption and product patterns, and interactions in networks of persons and organizations are termed organizational indicators. A
Staff of the Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indicators
LAWRENCE R. CARTER DONALD J. HERNANDEZ NANCY CARMICHAEL McMANUS
University of Oregon Georgetown U nivJ!rsity American Political Science Association (Washington, D.C.) Consortium of Social Science Associations (Washington, D.C.) Decision Resources, Inc. (Washington, D.C.) National Cancer Institute Social Science Research Council Child Trends, Inc. (Washington, D.C.) Social Science Research Council Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (Washington, D.C.) U.S. Agency for International Development Child Trends, Inc. (Washington, D.C.)
Sociology Sociology Political Science
1980-1981 1972-1983 1980-presen t
ROBERTA BALSTAD MILLER DAVID E. MYERS ROBERT PARKE ROBERT W. PEARSON JAMES L. PETERSON RICHARD C. ROCKWELL DAVID SEIDMAN ROXANN A. V AN DUSEN NICHOLAS ZILL
1981 conference initiated the committee's work in this new field. Cochaired by Gudmund Hernes, University of Bergen, and Albert J. Reiss, Jr., Yale University, the conference sought (1) to identify the major theoretical and conceptual models that can be used to guide data collection, analysis, and interpretation of organizational change; (2) to determine the data requirements of these models and try to establish whether they lend themselves to the analysis of data that may be routinely collected by organizations for other purposes; and (3) to compare alternative models in the hope of selecting the more promising ones for the purpose of studying changes in organizations and the role of organizations in social change. The conference succeeded in 路 identifying conceptual frameworks and in raising difficult questions of units of data and analysis. Further development of a theory and methodology of organizational indicators is of high priority to the committee. A planning group being organized by John F. Padgett, University of Chicago, will meet in early 1984 to consider how to make progress on con-
ceptual questions that have to be resolved before further work can proceed in data collection and measurement. It will concentrate on the conceptual foundations for the study of authority structures in organizations. Building on new insights derived from research on markets and hierarchies, and from other research on Japanese organizations, this effort is intended to stimulate new thinking in a traditional topic of organization theory-a problem that preoccupied Max Weber, Robert Michels, Frederick W. Taylor, and Elton Mayo.
Imperfect fit of concepts and measures A problem created by social change and complicated by the need to maintain comparability of measurements over time is the imperfect fit of many current measures with their underlying concepts. The nation's statistics are pervaded by instances in which the measuring instruments used have become invalid. Recognizing changes in customs and behaviors, for example, social scientists have reconceptualized "the
Committee on Social Indicators Chairmen, 1972-1983 OTIS DUDLEY DUNCAN, 1972-1975. Sociologist. Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1949. Professor of sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara. Previous appointments: University of Chicago, 1951-1962; University of Michigan, 1962-1973; University of Arizona, 1973-1983. Member, National Academy of Sciences; American Philosophical Society; American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Sociological Research Society; president, 1968-1969, Population Association of America. Publications include The American Occupational Structure, 1967 (with Peter Blau); Toward Social Reporting: Next Steps, 1969; and Social Change in a Metropolitan Community, 1973 (with Beverly D. Duncan). PHILIP E. CONVERSE, 1975-1977. Social psychologist. Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1958. Professor of sociology and political science, University of Michigan; director, Center for Political Studies, Institute for Social Research. Member, National Academy of Sciences; American Academy of Arts and Sciences; fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; current president, American Political Science Association. Publications include The Human Meaning of Social Change, 1972 (with Angus Campbell) and The Quality of American Life, 1976 (with Angus Campbell and Willard Rodgers) . Committee member, 1972-1974. ALBERT J. REISS, JR., 1978-1983. Sociologist. Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1949. William Graham Sumner professor of sociology, Yale University. Previous appointments: University of Chicago, 1949-1952; Vanderbilt University, 19521958; State University of Iowa, 1958-1960; University of Wisconsin , 1960-1961; University of Michigan, 1961-1970. President, 1969, Sociological Research Society; president, 1968, Society for the Study of Social Problems; fellow, American Sociological Association. Publications include Social Characteristics of Urban and Rural Communities, 1950 (with Otis Dudley Duncan) and "Statistical Measurement of Social Change," in National Science Foundation, The 5-Year Outlook for Science and Technology, 1981. Committee member, 1972-1977. KENNETH C. LAND, 1983-. Sociologist. Ph.D., University of Texas, 1969. Professor of sociology, University of Texas; director, Social Science Computing Laboratory; associate director, Center for Statistical Sciences. Previous appointments: Russell Sage Foundation, 1969-1973; University of Illinois, 1973-1981. Member, Sociological Research Association; fellow, American Statistical Association . Publications include Social Indicator Models, 1975 (with Seymour Spilerman, editors); Social Accounting Systems: Essays on the State of the Art, 1981 (with F. Thomas Juster, editors); and "Social Indicators," in Annual Review of Sociology, 1983. Committee member, 197~1982.
Transfer of Center Library to Bureau of Social Science Research With the closing of the Center, the Council determined that it could no longer maintain the library of social reports and related materials that it had created during the past decade. After reviewing several possible recipients, it was decided that the field would be best served if the library were donated to the Bureau of Social Science Research . Kenneth Prewitt, president of the Council, in approving the transfer, remarked, "When we decided to close the social indicators center, we gave priority to donating the library to an organization that would make a commitment to maintain and enhance the collection and to make it available to the research community. We are extremely pleased that the Bureau of Social Science Research has given the library a new home, particularly because the Bureau has long been a part of the social indicators research community."
Developed over the lO-year life of the Center, the library's collection consists of 1,500 catalogued books and reports; nearly 1.200 publications from both the V.S . Census and the V.N. World Fertility Survey; specialized articles. papers, and periodicals; over 600 social reports of foreign. state, and local governments; and various statistical compendia. The Bureau has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to assist it in integrating the collection with its own and in increasing its usefulness. The Bureau is located at 1990 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036. The telephone number is (202) 223-4300. The library is now in place at the Bureau, and is open for use by anyone in the social indicators field.
family" and other forms of shared living arrangements, but their revised concept is only partly reflected in questionnaires and interview schedules used in the 1980 Census of Population and Housing and in many surveys. The solution, however, is not simply to change the measuring instruments, for this disrupts the integrity of essential time series. The Subcommittee on Comparability of Occupation Measurement, appointed jointly by the Council and the U.S. Bureau of the Census, has suggested in its interim report a means for restoring comparability following a substantial change in the government's occupation classification system that has been im;>lemented with the 1980 Census. Members of the subcommittee have now initiated research projects to test what may be widely applicable means of restoring comparability to measures in disrupted time series, and the subcommittee awaits reports of their projects. (For further details, see the March 1983 issue of Items, pages 25-26.)
ily measured economic quantities assume exaggerated importance in public debate and policy making. The committee sponsored a conference in 1981 which produced a volume on this field. 4 This volume offers a basis for investigating the utility of social accounting models for the study of social change and for the analysis of social policy, as noted by Albert J. Reiss, Jr., in his Foreword. The papers in the volume (I) consider the properties of the variety of social accounting systems proposed; (2) begin an evaluation of these systems in terms of empirical and conceptual strengths and limitations; and (3) offer suggestions for future research. The committee is now monitoring the field to assess its response to research reported in this book and to discern future needs.
3 Bertram M. Gross, "The State of the Nation: Social Systems Accounting," pages 154-271 in Raymond A. Bauer, editor, Social Indicators. Cambridge: Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1966.
4 F. Thomas Juster and Kenneth C. Land, editors, Social Accounting Systems: Essays on the Slale oj the Art. New York: Academic
Science and technology indicators
Current Council activities in science and technology include a conference on international technology transfer, a workshop on public attitudes towards science and technology, and a forthcoming meeting on Social accounting the measurement of technological innovation. In The systematic summarization and analysis of the 1984, the Council hopes to sponsor a symposium on vast quantities of quantitative social data produced by science and technology studies, which will consider modern societies, in frameworks similar to those of the conceptualization, measurement, and analysis of the National Income and Product Accounts, is change in science and technology in relation to termed social accounting. It has been argued 3 that in changes in the society and the economy. The Comthe absence of comprehensive models to describe the mittee on Problems and Policy has expressed its interstructure and performance of social systems, the eas- est in developing the Council's program in the
Press, 1981 .
grams include an attempt to stimulate major collaborative research focused on the pilot study (the Income Survey Development Program), a series of conferences based on this research, and a workshop to acquaint the research community with the SIPP. The subcommittee serves as a link between the research community and the U.S. Bureau of the Census Survey of Income and Program Participation and as a catalyst for improvement of the quality and (SIPP) precision of information about important social proThe subcommittee on the SIPP was created in re- cesses, including the distribution of income and the sponse to the committee's recognition that this new role of government in the welfare of the population. Bureau of the Census panel survey of the economic Both past and present members of the Committee well-being of the population can be a major source of data on American social conditions and trends. (For on Social Indicators are listed on page 94, and the further details, see the March 1983 issue of Items, four past and present chairmen of the committee are pages 2&-27.) The subcommittee, the establishment identified on page 92. Past and present numbers of of which was recommended by a conference held in the staff are listed on page 91. A notice concerning 1982, is sponsoring a broad program, which is de- the disposition of the library of the Center for Coorsigned to exploit the opportunity to shape and profit dination of Research on Social Indicators appears on 0 from this survey in its early years. Its current pro- page 93. broader field of science and technology studies, and over the next year the staff will carry out a number of exploratory activities designed to identify the research issues on which the Council can profitably work.
Members of the Advisory and Planning Committee on Social Indicators
University of Helsinki University of California, Santa Barbara Lincoln, Massachusetts University of Wisconsin Harvard University University of Southern California Carnegie- Mellon University University of Chicago University of Wisconsin University of Bergen University of Michigan University of North Carolina University of Minnesota Wesleyan University University of Michigan Carnegie- Mellon University University of Chicago
Sociology Physics Economics Sociology Economics Statistics Sociology Sociology Sociology Statistics Statistics Statistics Economics Sociology History Political Science/ Sociology Economics
19791979-1983 198019721977- 1981 1972-1977 1972-1976 1976-1980 1976-1982 19831977-1981 19831978-1981 1976-1982 198119831972-1977
Climatology Sociology Statistics Sociology Sociology Sociology
19791972-1976 1972-1975 1980-1983 1972-1977 1974-1978
RICHARD A. BERK RICHARD H . BOLT MARTIN H. DAVID JAMES A. DAVIS RICHARD A . EASTERLIN STEPHEN E . FIENBERG LEO A. GOODMAN ROBERT M. HAUSER GUDMUND HERNES GRAHAM KALTON GARY G . KOCH KINLEY LARNTZ STANLEY LEBERGOTT WILLIAM M. MASON JOHN MODELL JOHN F. PADGETT MANCUR OLSON NATALIE ROGOFF RAMS!3Y STEPHEN H. SCHNEIDER ARTHUR
LEROY O . STONE NANCY BRANDON TUMA WOLFGANG ZAPF HARRIET ZUCKERMAN
University of Maryland Institute of Applied Social Research (Oslo) National Center for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, Colorado) Northwestern University University of Western Ontario Stanford University University of Mannheim Columbia University
Publications of the Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indicators, 1972-83 THIS BIBLIOGRAPHY ATTEMPTS TO INCLUDE all publications up to the end of 1983 that were commissioned by the Center or which were prepared as part of a Center or committee project. Council publications on social indicators in 1984 and subsequent years will continue to be listed in the Annual Report. Books may be obtained from the publishers listed, and reprints of articles are generally available from their authors. A limited number of books and monographs that were published by the Center or the Council are available (at varying prices) unless the publication is described as out-of-print. Most of these publications may be consulted at the Center's former library, which is now located at'the Bureau of Social Science Research, 1990 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036. In addition to these publications, the Center also published the Social Indicators Newsletter. Eighteen issues were published during the period July 1973 to September 1983; this issue of Items is also Number 19 of the Newsletter, which has suspended publication.
BOOKS AND MONOGRAPHS BIELBY, WILLIAM T., CLIFFORD B. HAWLEY, AND DAVID BILLS. Research Uses of the National Longitudinal Surveys. R&D Monograph 62, Washington, D.C .: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 1979. Previously issued as Report SR-18 of the Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Based upon a conference held October 14-16, 1977. CENTER FOR COORDINATION OF RESEARCH ON SOCIAL INDICATORS. A Research Agenda for the National Longitudinal Surveys of Labor Market Experience: Report on the Social Science Research Council's Conference on the National Longitudinal Surveys, October 1977. Washington, D.C. : Social Science Research Council, 1978. CHERLIN, ANDREW J . Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1981. The first book in a series, Social Trends in the United States. DAVID, MARTIN H., editor. Technical, Conceptual, and Administrative Lessons of the Income Survey Development Program (ISDP) . New York : Social Science Research Council, 1983 . Based upon a conference held October 6-7, 1982 . ELKANA, YEHUDA, JOSHUA LEDERBERG, ROBERT K. MERTON, ARNOLD THACKRAY, AND HARRIET ZUCKERMAN, editors. Toward a MetTic of Science: The Advent of Science Indicators. New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1978. Publishedjoindy with the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford, California) ; based upon a conference held at the Center inJune 1974. FIENBERG, STEPHEN E., AND ALBERT J. REISS,JR., editors. Indicators of Crime and Criminal Justice: Quantitative Studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1980. Based upon workshops held in the summer of 1975 and the fall of 1977. JUSTER, F. THOMAS, AND KENNETH C. LAND, editors . Social Accounting Systems: Essays on the State of the Art. New York: Academic Press, 1981. Based upon a conference held March 24-26, 1980. MILLER, ROBERTA BALSTAD, AND HARRIET ZUCKERMAN, editors. Science Indicators: Implications for Research and Policy. Special DECEMBER
issue, Scientometrics, 2 (5-6), 1980. Based upon a symposium held in May 1978. NAM, CHARLES B. Alternative Methodsfor Effecting the Comparability of Occupation Measurement Over Time. Report of the Subcommittee on Comparability of Occupation Measu rement. Washington, D.C.: Social Science Research Council, 1983. SOUTHWICK, JESSIE C., AND PHILIP K. HASTINGS, editors. Survey Data for Trend Analysis: An Index to Repeated Questions in U.S . National Surveys Held by the Roper Public Opinion Research Center. Under the editorial direction of Philip K. Hastings; with an essay by Norval D. Glenn . Williamstown, Massachusetts: Roper Public Opinion Research Center; New York : Social Science Research Council, 1975. OUT OF PRINT. VAN DUSEN, ROXANN A., AND NICHOLAS ZILL, editors. Basic Background Items for U.S. Household Surveys. Washington , D.C. : Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indicators, 1975. OUT OF PRINT. VAN DUSEN, ROXANN A ., editor. Social Indicators, 1973: A Review Symposium. New York: Social Science Research Council, 1974 . 95 pages. Based upon a symposium held February 21-23, 1974. OUT OF PRINT. WATTS, HAROLD W., AND DONALD J. HERNANDEZ. Child and Family Indicators: A Report with Recommendations. Report of the Advisory Group on Child and Family Indicators. Washington, D.C.: Social Science Research Council, 1982.
ARTICLES AND CHAPTERS ANDREWS, FRANK M. "Subjective Social Indicators, Objective Socia I Indicators, and Social Accounting Systems." In F. T. Juster and K. C. Land, editors, Social Accounting Systems: Essays on the State of the Art. New York: Academic Press, 1981, pages 377419. AVERCH, HARVEY. "Science Indicators and Policy Analysis." In Roberta Balstad Miller and Harriet Zuckerman, editors, Science Indicators: Implications for Research and Policy. Special issue, ScientometTics, 2, 1980:339-345.
BEN-DAVID, JOSEPH. "U.S. Science in International Perspective." In Roberta Balstad Miller and Harriet Zuckerman, editors, Science Indicators: Implications for Research and Policy. Special issue, Scientometrics, 2, 1980:411-421. BIDERMAN, ALBERT D. "Notes on Measurement by Crime Victimization Surveys." In Stephen E. Fienberg and AlbertJ. Reiss,Jr., editors, Indicators of Crime and Criminal Justice: Quantitative Studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S . Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1980, pages 29-32. Bl.UMSTEIN, ALFRED, AND GARY G. KOCH. "A Prolegomenon for a Macro Model for Criminal Justice Planning: JUSSIM III." In Stephen E. Fienberg and Albert J. Reiss, Jr., editors, Indicators of Crime and Criminal Justice: Quantitative Studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1980, pages 99-108. BOWERS, RAYMOND. "Indicators of Basic Research in the Physical Sciences." In Roberta Balstad Miller and Harriet Zuckerman, editors, Science Indicators: Implications for Research and Policy. Special issue, Scientometricf, 2, 1980:429-433. BRIER, STEPHEN S., AND STEPHEN E. FIENBERG. "Recent Econometric Modelling of Crime and Punishment: Support for the Deterrence Hypothesis?" in Stephen E. Fienberg and Albert J. Reiss, Jr., editors, Indicators of Crime and Criminal Justice: Qwmtitative Studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1980, pages 82-98. BRIlT, DAVID W., AND KINLEY L.O\RNTZ. "The Effects of Plea Bargaining on the Disposition of Personal and Property Crimes: A Research Note." In Stephen E. Fienberg and Albert J. Reiss, J r., editors, Indicators of Crime and Criminal Justice: QWllltitative Studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1980, pages 70-74. BROOKS, HARVEY. "Science Indicators and Science Policy." In Roberta Balstad Miller and Harriet Zuckerman, editors, Science Indicators: Implications for Research and Policy. Special issue, Scientometrics 2, 1980:331-337. CARMICHAEL, NANC.Y, AND ROBERT PARKE. "Information Services for Social Indicators Research." Special Libraries, 65:209-215, May-June 1974. CHERLlN, ANDREW J. "Explaining the Postwar Baby Boom."ltems, 34(4) :57-63, December 1981. Adapted from pages 33-44 of Andrew J. Cherlin, Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage (1981) . COLE, STEPHEN. "Comments on 'Indicators of Scientific Manpower· ... In Roberta Balstad Miller and Harriet Zuckerman, editors, Science Indicaton: llIlplicatiolll for Relearch and Policy. Special issue, Sciclltollletrics, 2, 1980:405-409. COLE, STEPHEN, JONATHAN R. COLE, AND LORRAINE DIETRICH . "Measuring the Cognitive State of Scientific Disciplines." In Y. Elkana, J. Lederberg, R. K. Merton, A. Thackray, and H. Zuckerman, editors, Toward a Metric of Science: The Advent of Science Indicators. New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1978, pages 209-251. DAVIS, JAMES A., AND TOM W. SMITH. "Have We Learned Anything from the General Social Survey?" Social Indicators Newsletter, 17:1-2,8-11, August 1982. DUNCAN, OTIS DUDl.EY. "DeVeloping Social Indicators." National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings, 70:5096--5102. December 1974. DU:-ICAN, OTIS DUDl.EY. "Measuring Social Change via Replication of Surveys." InK. C. Land and S. Spilerman, editors, Social Illdicator Models . New York : Russell Sage Foundation, 1975. pages 105-127. DUNCAN, OTIS Dt·DI.EY. "Science Indicators and Social Indica-
tors." In Y. Elkana, J. Lederberg, R. K. Merton. A. Thackray, and H. Zuckerman. editors, Toward a Metric of Science: The Advent of Science Indicators. New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1978, pages 31-38. DUNCAN, OTIS DUDLEY. "The Statistics of Leo Goodman." Social Indicators Newslette1', 6 :4-5, March 1975. EZRAHI, YARON. "Political Contexts of Science I ndicators." In Y. Elkana, J. Lederberg, R. K. Merton, A. Thackray, and H . Zuckerman, editors, Toward a Metric of Science: The Advent of Science Indicators. New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1978, pages 285-327. FEATHERMAN, DAVID L. "Issues for Manpower Research on Youth in the Transition from School to Work." Journal of Economics and Business, 32(2):118-126, Winter 1980. FEl.SON, MARCUS. "Social Accounts Based on Map, Clock, and Calendar." In F. T. Juster and K. C. Land, editors, Social Accounting Systems: Essays on the State of the Art. New York : Academic Press, 1981, pages 219-239. FJENBERG, STEPHEN E. "Statistical Modeling in the Analysis of Repeat Victimization." In Stephen E. Fienberg and Albert J. Reiss, J r., editors, Indicators of Crime and Criminal Justice: Quantitative Studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1980, pages 54-58. FIENBERG, STEPHEN E. "Victimization and the National Crime Survey: Problems of Design and Analysis." In Stephen E. Fienberg and Albert J. Reiss, Jr., editors, Indicators of Crime and Criminal Justice: Quantitative Studie~ . Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1980, pages 33-40. FIENBERG, STEPHEN E .• KINLEY LARNTZ, AND ALBERT J. REISS, JR. "Redesigning the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment." Evaluation, 3:124-31, 1976. FIENBERG, STEPHEN E., KINLEY LARNTZ, AND ALBERT J. REISS, JR. "Redesigning the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment." In Stephen E. Fienberg and Albert J. Reiss, Jr., editors, Indicators of Crime and Criminal Justice: Quantitative Studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1980, pages 109-124. Fox, KARl. A., AND SYAMAl. K. GHOSH. "A Behavior Setting Approach to Social Accounts Combining Concepts and Data from Ecological Psychology, Economics, and Studies of Time Use." In F. T.Juster and K. C. Land, editors,Social Accounting SystmLf.' Essays on the State of the Art. New York: Academic Press, 1981, pages 132-217. FREEMAN, R. B. "Indicators of the Impact of R&D on the Economy." In Roberta Balstad Miller and Harriet Zuckerman, editors, Science Indicators: Implications for Resfarch fwd Policy. Special issue, Scientometric.l, 2, 1980:375-385. GARFIEL.D, EUGENE, MORTON V. MALIN, AND HENRY SMALL. "Citation Data as Science Indicators." In Y. Elkana, J. Lederberg, R. K. Merton, A. Thackray, and H. Zuckerman. editors, Taward a Metric of Science: The Advent of Science Indicators. New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1978, pages 179-207. GLA rZER, WOI.FGANG. "International Actors in Social Indicators Research." Social Indicators Newsletter, 16: 1.8-12. August 1981. GI.ENN, NORVAL. "Trend Studies with Survey Data: Opportunities and Pitfalls." Socia/Indicators Newsletter, 4:4-5, October 1974. GRILICHES, ZVL "Economic Problems of Measuring Returns on Research." In Y. Elkana, J. Lederberg, R. K. Merton, A. Thackray, and H. Zuckerman, editors, Toward a Metric of Science: The' Advent of Science Indicators. New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1978, pages l71-177.
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Communicating Social Science Findings to the Public A commentary on the Council's new series of books, Social Trends in the United States
by James A. Davis and John Modell*
AMONG OUR SOURCES OF DISCOMFORT in the world today is our recognition of its enormous complexity. Not least of the voices proclaiming complexity is that of the social sciences. A felt need for new methods to fathom, govern, and reform a changing society lies at the origin of the modern social sciences. The accommodation of a plurality of interests in the context of enlarging popular expectations has called for the kind of knowledge that social science seeks. Walter Lippmann enunciated this task eloquently in 1922, defining the "central difficulty of self-government" in the modern world as that of dealing with an unseen reality .... As long as there was no way of establishing common versions of unseen events, common measures for separate actions, the only image of democracy that would work. even in theory. was one based on an isolated community of people whose political faculties were limited ... by the range of their vision. I
Social scientists shortly responded to such messages with a model social report, the composite Recent Social Trends by the President's Research Committee on Re-
* Mr. Davis is a professor of sociology at Harvard University; Mr. Modell is a professor of history at Carnegie-Mellon University. Both are members of the Council's Committee on Social Indicators; they are also the editors of the series described in this article. I Public Opinion. New York: Macmillan. 1960 , page 396. DECEMBER 1983
cent Social Trends, for which William Fielding Ogburn served as director of research. Social science was to clarify complexity and diffuse what it had learned, in order to participate in the formulation of ... new and emergent values, in the construction of the new symbols to thrill men's souls, in the contrivance of the new institutions and adaptations useful in the fulfillment of new aspirations. 2
In recent decades, social science has reinforced its emphasis on complexity without offering to the public whose attention it commands a particularly coherent view of change. To be sure, the period in which Recent Social Trends was conceived and produced was one in which American social scientists widely shared a view that rapid change was both inevitable and beneficient, when properly understood and attended to. Optimism about the role of empirical social science in comprehending social change continued into the era of the Great Depression, but the story it told was darker, often emphasizing contradictions introduced by change rather than progressive improvements. An engaged, hopeful concern nonetheless charac2 President's Research Committee on Social Trends, Recellt Socia/ Trends illihe Uniled Slates. Volume 1. New York: McGraw-Hili, 1933, page lxxv.
terizes the tone of the late-1930s social reports of the National Resources Committee, which, again incorporating Ogburn among its leading figures, issued a wide-ranging series of empirically-based statements. 3 When the Great Depression gave way to World War II, American social scientists were well accustomed to putting their services to work in behalf of the national government. The social science that emerged from the war was in some sense a compromised one, certainly in its role of creating an informed public, and its characteristic posture was far more ironic than formerly, far less confident in the meaning of its indicators, more hermetic, more specialized. The task of systematic description and analysis of recent social change fell further away from the ordinary activities of academic social scientists. Increasing disciplinary specialization widened the gap between the products of such economic research entities as the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Brookings Institution and social reporting. The origins of "the social indicators movement" can be found in a need for scientifically adequate assessments of changes in well-being in order to formulate fresh national goals. An earlier generation of social scientists had seen reporting in this vein as an ordinary task of their disciplines. To be sure, social reports have appeared sporadically since the end of World War II. The series of 1950 Census monographs sponsored by the Council included such a model examination of structural change in American society as Edward P. Hutchinson's Immigrants and Their Children, 1850-1950 (1956), itself a self-conscious replication of a volume in the predecessor series of 1920 Census monographs. And in the 1960 Census monographs, Irene B. and Conrad Taeuber produced an exceptionally useful and broad-based consideration of changes in People of the United States in the Twentieth Century (1972). At the same time, however, the Taeuber and Taeuber volume is by design as much a presentation of neatly organized data as an exposition of change. Since then, the characteristic government efforts have been the three Social Indicator.\ volumes (1973, 1976, 1980),4 !I See for example, United States, :'Ilational Resources Committee, Research Committee on Urbanism, Our Cities: Their Role in the National Economy. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1937; United States, National Resources Committee, Science Committee, Technological Trends and National Policy, Including the Social Implications of New Inventionl. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1937. ~ United States, Bureau of the Census, Social Indica ton, 1973; Social Indicators, 1976; Social Indicators, 111. Washington, D.C. : Government Printing Office, 1974, 1977, 1980.
but these have been chartbooks that have required a complement of privately-commissioned interpretive essays, published separately in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. The many excellences of these have not added up to a particularly coherent view of social change. And while individual scholars have produced excellent accounts of particular aspects of contemporary life, the rare attempt at a comprehensive account of social changefor instance Morris Janowitz' The Last Half Century (1978)-is by its nature so intellectually thorny that for all its acumen, it may fail to "report" to many readers. It is the contention of the Social Trends in the United States series that social science has a collective responsibility and opportunity to "report," to contribute to informed choice, and thereby to enlarge the sense of citizenship required in a democracy. In place of a coherent, albeit complex, view of society and social change, political discourse too often offers only anecdotal accounts, received in anxious complacency. Social change becomes defined in terms of the problems that accompany it: the automobile creates traffic accidents and the computer leads shiftless adolescents to play mindless video games. And however acute the treatment of the problems, such pointillism but rarely coheres into a clear view: we are just too close up. What is required is a calm, clean, articulated account of change, somewhat removed from the actors' perspective. Ultimately, that account ought to be a causal account, with assertions of cause dispassionately developed, subject to verification and modification according to accepted principles. For this, social science methods provide a model. To be useful to citizens, however, accounts framed by social science concepts and buttressed by social science methodology must shed the characteristic preoccupations of most who write of their scientific findings. They must define their questions for their educational and political relevance, as well as their theoretical import; they must eschew preoccupation with means and method; they must translate technical terminology into the language of common discourse; and they must attempt literary grace. The tools of the social sciences must be turned to the goal of public information: the power that statistical analysis can bring to the analysis of the awesome range of our routinely gathered data must be conveyed to an intelligent citizenry. With modern statistical methods, we are able to delineate change along a large number of dimensions in which the pattern of change over time is rarely visible to most actors; we can discern VOLUME
this issue). Authors of books in the series are given a small fund to cover research expenses, are clearly and occasionally painfully reminded of the nature and breadth of the audience sought, and are afforded close editorial advice and a wide-ranging scientific review. Despite close review, the volumes in the series are the authors' own, and thus, far from uniform. Each is free-standing, but we hope that the effect of the series will be cumulative, each volume providing context for the others, for we view social change as a multiple-caused phenomenon, with wide ramifications and surprising feedbacks. Together, the series will not constitute an overall contemporary history: historical accounts evoke context rather than extract single dimensions of change. The series, however, will delineate a series of interconnected stories that no 5 The first book in the series was Andrew J. Cherlin, Marriage, Divorce, Remaniage. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Univer- contemporary history-and hence no account of our present condition-should ignore. D sity Press, 1981.
wherein such change is directional and where it is not; and we can show the ways in which change in one dimension promotes and is promoted by change in others. Such information should enable citizens to choose in an enlightened way among political alternatives. This is the rationale underlying a series of books:; by leading social scientists on continuities and change, each written in a manner that can be understood by those without advanced technical training. The series, Social Trends in the United States, is designed to present to the general public recent scholarship on and current analysis of topics of broad interest and concerns. The series is a project of the Council's Committee on Social Indicators tsee pages 90-91 of
Two New Council Publications on Social Indicators Alternative Methods for Effecting the Comparability of Occupation Measurement Over Time. The Interim Report of the Subcommittee on the Comparability of Occupation Measurement, Charles B. Nam, chair. Washington, D.C.: Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indicators, Social Science Research Council, 1983. iv + 131 pages. Paper, $5.00. A vail able from the Council.
This report represents an account of the deliberations and recommendations of the Subcommittee on Comparability of Occupation Measurement of the Committee on Social Indicators and the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The subcommittee, appointed in 1980, addressed two questions: (1) What kinds of data do scholars require in order to study changes in the occupational structure of the U.S.? The subcommittee answers that scholars require not only valid and reliable data, but that they also require comparable measurements over time. However, the integrity of the occupation data series for the U.S. has been frequently disrupted by changes in the occupational structure that in part led to changes in the system for classifying occupations, including most recently a DECEMBER
major revision introduced in the 1980 Census. The second question addressed by the subcommittee was: (2) By what technical means can the needs of scholars be met, given the continual revision of systems for classifying occupations? The report explores alternative ways for dealing with basic research issues and needs and suggests a strategy for ameliorating the present difficulties faced by researchers and for avoiding such difficulties in the future. It reviews the extent and nature of difficulties that will be faced by researchers using the 1980 Census occupation data for the study of social change. In addition to Mr. Nam, Florida State University, the members of the subcommittee are William T. Bielby, University of California, Santa Barbara; Clifford C. Clogg, Pennsylvania State University; Stephen E. Fienberg, Carnegie- Mellon University; William H. Form, University of Illinois; Robert M. Hauser, University of Wisconsin; David L. Kaplan, U.S. Bureau of the Census (retired); Ann R. Miller, University of Penr:ylvania; Mary G. Powers, Fordham University; Donald B. Rubin, University of Chicago; James G. Scoville, University of Minnesota; and Donald J. Treiman, University of California, Los Angeles. 101
Technical, Conceptual, and Administrative Lessons of the Income Survey Development Program (ISDP), edited by Martin H. David. Papers from a conference sponsored by the Advisory and Planning Committee on Social Indicators. New York: Social Science Research Council, 1983. x + 318 pages. Paper, $5.00. Available from the Council.
In October 1983, the V .S. Bureau of the Census initiated field work on the new Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). The Annual Demographic Supplement to the Current Population Survey has been for many years the chief source of national data on the economic situation of persons and families. Many researchers expect that this role will eventually be assumed by the SIPP because of the additional analytical power it will provide. The book is about the pilot study for the SIPP. The Income Survey Development Program was a collaborative effort of the V.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the V.S. Bureau of the Census, begun in 1975 and abruptly ended in 1982 because of budget constraints. The conference on which the book is based was first conceived as a salvage operation, an attempt to ensure that some of what was learned from the intellectual and financial investment in the ISDP ($12,750,000) would be documented and become widely-available for application in other research within and outside the federal statistical establishment. Participants, most of whom had been members of the ISDP staff in the federal government and in field sites, were charged to reflect on and evaluate results of the ISDP research, to say where further research was needed, and to generalize what they had learned to the design and analysis of other surveys. By the time the conference convened in October 1982, the salvage operation had taken on an entirely different aspect: during the summer of 1982, the then-director of the V.S. Bureau of the Census, Bruce Chapman, successfully urged the Congress and the Administration to appropriate money to enable the SIPP to initiate data collection in 1983. What had been planned as a wake turned into an opportunity for government professionals and academic social scientists to grapple with difficult conceptual, theoretical, and methodological issues that had been raised in the ISDP and which must be addressed as the SIPP begins. The introduction to the book, by Mr. David, summarizes some of these issues, which include longitudinal concepts, analytical methods, computation
strategies, sampling, response error, weighting, simulation, and links to administrative records. Papers are organized into seven sections plus a bibliography of published and unpublished materials on the ISDP. The sections are (1) an overview of the analytical potential of the ISDP and the problems the analyst will encounter; (2) an examination of the greater precision in measurement of earnings afforded by the ISDP; (3) commentary on innovations in the measurement of income and wealth ; (4) reports on innovations in the matching of individual and administrative data and in the early collection of data of interest to program agencies; (5) discussions of the problems of missing data; (6) evaluations of the quality of ISDP data; ahd (7) a review of the administration of the ISDP. The conference was organized by Mr. David and chaired by Stephen E. Fienberg, Carnegie-Mellon V niversity. Contributors to the book include: Constance F. Citro John F. Coder John L. Czajka Pat Doyle Graham Kalton Daniel Kasprzyk Bruce W. Klein Robert E. Klein James Lepkowski Charles A. Lininger Rowena Lipscomb Janice A. Olson Robert B. Pearl Denton R. Vaughan Thomas Cameron Whiteman Martynas A. Yeas
Mathematica Policy Research (Washington, D.C.) U.S. Bureau of the Census Mathematica Policy Research (Washington, D.C.) Mathematica Policy Research (Washington, D.C.) University of Michigan U.S. Social Security Administration U.S. Department of Health and Human Services U.S. Social Security Administration University of Michigan U.S. Social Security Administration U.S . Social Security Administration U.S. Social Security Administration University of Illinois U.S. Social Security Administration U.S. Department of Health and Human Services U.S. Social Security Administration
Kenneth C. Land, Vniversity of Texas, wrote the preface in his capacity as chair of the Advisory and Planning Committee on Social Indicators, which has since appointed a Working Group on the Survey of Income and Program Participation under the chairmanship of Mr. David.
Council Personnel Robert Parke accepts position at National Cancer Institute With the closing of the Council's Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indicators in Washington, at the end of the year, Robert Parke has resigned from the staff of the Council. He joined the Council staff in 1972 as director of the Center, and has served continuously in that position. Starting in January, he will join the staff of the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, where he will provide leadership for the social measurement aspects of the Institute's new emphasis on cancer prevention and control. Mr. Parke came to the Council from the position of deputy director of the National Commission on Population Growth and the American Future. The commission, appointed in 1970, was chaired by John D. Rockefeller 3rd; Charles F. Westoff, Princeton University, served as director. In his position as deputy director, Mr. Parke served as director of the professional staff of the commission; the commission's report, and its many volumes of supplementary reports, were prepared under the joint supervision of Messrs. Westoff and Parke. These reports constitute a landmark in the translation of social science findings into policy recommendations. Prior to this position, Mr. Parke served for 11 years as a statistician in the U.S. Bureau of the Census. He received an A.B. from Haverford College in 1950 and an M.A. in sociology from Columbia University in 1952. His publications in the field of social indicators research are listed on pages 95-99 of this issue. In December, the Board of Directors approved a resolution honoring Mr. Parke, worded as follows: Robert Parke served as director of the Council's Center for Coordination of Research on Social Indicators in Washington, D.C., from its creation in September 1972 until its closing at the end of 1983. Starting only with a purpose-Uto contribute to the development of a broad range of indicators of social change, in response to demands from both social science and policy communities over the past decade"-the Center developed an advisory committee, a professional staff, a newsletter, a reference library, an international network of scholars and government officials, and a broad range of activities that led to a series of workshops, conferences, and publications. These activities have had a substantial impact upon both the method-
ology of the social sciences and the scientific content of the statistical programs of the federal government. As a senior officer of the Council, Robert Parke was its resident representative in Washington for 11 years. At countless meetings, conferences, and official visits he served to maintain the Council's high standards in the eyes of social scientists, government officials, and the Council's public generally. His colleagues deeply appreciate his intellectual integrity, his ingrained sense of fairness, his clarity of expression, and the warmth of his personal and professional relationships. They feel a sense of genuine loss at his departure from the staff of the Council and look forward to new occasions for productive collaboration. For all these reasons, the Board of Directors is pleased to extend to Robert Parke this expression of its gratitude, friendship, and respect.
Joan Dassin to staff Latin America committee Joan Dassin has joined the staff of the Council as a staff associate; her primary responsibility will be to staff the Joint Committee on Latin American Studies, replacing Brooke Larson, who has resigned from the Council to accept a teaching position at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Ms. Dassin received a B.A. in English and American literature from Brandeis University in 1969 and a Ph.D. in modern thought and literature from Stanford University in 1974. She has taught at Stanford, at both the Federal and the Catholic universities in Rio de Janeiro, at Amherst College, and at Columbia and Fordham universities. She comes to the Council staff from Fordham University, where she was an assistant professor of communications. She is the author of a book on Brazilian modernism (in Portuguese); the editor (with Jane L. Curry) of Press Control Around the World (Praeger, 1982); and the author of a forthcoming book on the press and the state in Brazil. Her major research interests are in literature, mass communications, and censorship in Latin America.
Discontinuation of Dissertation Fellowships in Employment and Training
In October 1983, the Congress passed and sent to the president an appropriations bill for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that earmarked a substantial portion of DOL's research budget for rural employment programs. In response to this unfortunate reduction in research funds, the Employment and Training Administration of DOL informed the Council that it would no longer support its program of dissertation fellowships in employment and training. The Council will continue to administer awards that are still in progress, but no new awards will be made in 1984.
SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL 605 THIRD AVENUE, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10158 Illcor/Jomted ill the State of 11I1IIOil, December 27, 1924,for the pur/JOse of adll(lllclllg research ill the
Directors, 1983-84: S路IEI'IIE:-.I E. FIE:-.IBERl., Carnegie-Mellon Uni\'ersity; HOWARD CARDl'oEil., Veterans Administration Medical Center (Boston); CHARLES O. jO:-.lES, Uni\'ersity of Virginia; ROBERT W. KATES, Clark Unh'ersit}; ROBER'I A. LEVI I\' E, Hanard University : GARDl\ER LI:-.ID7E\, Center for Ad\'anced Stu<!\ in Ihe Behavioral Sciences; ELEAI\'OR E. MACCOB\, Stanford I !n iversity; MARC NERLOVE, University of Pennsylvania; H UGH T. PATRtCK, Yale University; KENNETH PREWITT, Social Science Research Council; MURRAY L. SCHWARTZ, University of California, Los Angeles; DO:-.lNA E. SHALALA, Hunter College, City Universit} of New York; S路t EI'IIEN M. ST!<:LER, Universit y of Chicago; LOliISt: A. TILLY, Uni\'ersity of Michigan; SIDl\EY VERBA, Har\'ard Uni\ersity; 路hl~IA"UEL WALLERS'I Ell\', State University of New York, Binghamton; WIU.lAM jl'UUS WILSON, University of Chicago. Officers alld Staff' KEN Nt:'1 H PREWI n, Prel'idellt; DAVID L. SIU_~, ExeClltive Alsociate; RONALD j. PEl.ECK, COli/rolleI'; THEODORE C. BESTOR, JOAN DASSIN, P. NIKIFOROS DIAMANDOUROS, MARTHA A. GEPHART, BROOKI:. LARSON, ROBERT PARKE, ROIIERT W. PEARSON, PETER B. READ, RICHARD C. ROCKWELL, SOI'HII:. SA, LONNIE R. SHERROD, DAVID L. SZANTON.