Survey results released today show that a majority of survey respondents, both residents and elected officials of Kent County, Michigan, support sharing services such as police, fire and public works among governments, but there is no majority for sharing assessment of property values or tax collection. Majorities support informal cooperation, formal contracts and combining agencies, but a supermajority of responding elected officials and a near-majority of responding residents oppose merging governments into larger units.
Not long before he passed away in 2010, then-director of CSR Dr. Jim Penning was inspired and agitated by an article in the Grand Rapids
This morning, I had the privilege of bringing Jim’s work to fruition by pinch-hitting for CRI staff in presenting recent survey results to the board of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council. GVMC is an august gathering of mayors and other local officials from Kent County and several other West Michigan counties. An important vehicle for cooperation among local governments, GVMC co-sponsored the survey project, with grant funding from the Frey Foundation. GVMC provided a list of elected officials for a mail survey parallel to GGRCS. Today’s presentation juxtaposed these two surveys to compare the opinions of residents and elected officials. The event was covered by Calvin grad Matt Vande Bunte of the Grand Rapids
Here are two key charts from the end of the presentation that summarize the findings.
The Social Sciences Lunch Seminar Series resumes for the spring semester 2012, highlighting four faculty speakers who will present and discuss their research.
Friday February 17: Jennifer Jewett VanAntwerp, Associate Professor of Engineering: "Examining Calling as a Motivator in Career Decisions: A Comparison of Engineering Graduates from Secular and Christian Undergraduate Institutions"
Friday March 9: Mikael Pelz, Assistant Professor of Political Science: "Presidential Campaign Rhetoric and Partisan Change: The Case of Evangelical Protestants"
Friday April 13: Neil Carlson, Director, Center for Social Research: "Social Science on the Front Lines: Collecting, analyzing and visualizing survey and casework data from the Believe 2 Become Initiatives's Neighborhood Engagement efforts"
Friday April 27: Adel Abadeer, Professor of Economics: "How Informal Norms Marginalize Women in Collective Societies in Less Developed Countries"
All of the 2011-12 seminars take place at Calvin College, in the Alumni Association Board Room, 12:30 p.m. with lunch tickets free and available starting at 12:15 p.m.
Please join us for lunch, research, and discussion.
Sponsored by the Center for Social Research, the Dean for Social Sciences and Contextual Studies, and the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Christian Perspectives on Political, Social and Economic Thought.
Thursday October 7, 2010|
3:30 p.m., Meeter Center Lecture Hall
Given the pending $940 billion health care reform bill in the U.S. Congress, along with the $787 billion economic stimulus bill enacted in 2009, there is a lot of public controversy about the scope of public spending in the U.S. Just how unusual is the Obama administration's spending, and why? As shown in the static image above, it is clear that the Obama administration's 2009 spending dwarfs prior years and reaches for a 48-year maximum near 35% of non-government GDP before offsets. But this fact is not alone--it also represents the summation of trends long in the making. Whatever you think, the interactive visualization below may help to put the spending surge in its proper context. For example, before 2009 the record holder appears to have been the Reagan Administration in 1983, with nearly 30% of non-governmental GDP before offsets. Recessions take a toll on the economy that drives up the government's share.
At CSR, we are learning to use a powerful new tool called Tableau, a data visualization and analysis application that is evolving from origins in business intelligence. With the recent release of version 5.1, Tableau now includes Tableau Public, a free service that allows anyone to create and post interactive visualizations like the one below. Tableau is sponsoring a contest through March 26, and our interactive entry is below--please read on.
Final analysis has begun for 2009 Clergy and Public Affairs Survey concerning political beliefs and clergy practices from ten denominations. This year's survey continues a series of post-presidential election surveys conducted since 1980 for the Southern Baptist Convention and since 1988 for other denominations. Answers to frequently asked questions about the survey and a list of denominations can be found here.
CSR student Research Assistants were an integral part of the data collection process, stuffing thousands of envelopes inviting clergy to participate in either online or printable versions of the survey. Research Assistants also entered over 1,500 paper surveys to add to the more than 1,200 online surveys submitted.
Comparative demographic information from 2001 and 2009 post-election surveys (excluding PCUSA data for early analysis) shows that gender, ethnicity, and community size reported by participants have not changed significantly since 2001, but age of respondents has increased. Nearly 61 percent of respondents in 2001 fell into the category of 34 to 54 years of age. In 2009, only 48 percent fell into this category, and the category of 55 and older experienced a growth of 12 percent, making nearly 46 percent of respondents fall into this category.
In the following table, we see that the clergy seem to be leaning toward a theologically orthodox viewpoint. In 2009, clergy reported consistently higher percentages of agreement on the following measures of theological conservatism. However, clergy agreeing with the statement concerning Christ’s physical second coming have decreased by 1 percent. Perhaps the most interesting change is the increase from 2001 to 2009 in both Evangelical and Mainline clergy in total agreement with the statement “Adam and Eve were real people” by 8.2% and 12.6% respectively. Evangelical denominations consist of the Assemblies of God, Southern Baptists, the Christian Reformed Church, the Lutheran Missouri Synod, and the Mennonites. Mainline denominations consist of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Church, the Disciples of Christ, and the Reformed Church of America.