Chris Uggen's Blog: question wording

Monday, September 08, 2008

question wording

historical demographer steve ruggles is the university's newest regent's professor -- the highest honor for faculty at the minnversity. a university news story by pauline oo offers a fine profile of professor ruggles and his amazing work as director of the minnesota population center. while some things never change in social science research, the following sidebar to the story suggests that we've made at least some progress in developing questionnaire items since the 1850 census:

Census trivia

One of the questions asked in the 1850 census, the first year in which the census bureau attempted to count every member of every household, including white women and children and slaves: "How many insane or idiotic whites and how many insane or idiotic colored people are there in the household?"


At 6:42 AM, Blogger White Trash Academic said...

That's a great question!

At 5:49 PM, Blogger smipley said...

Wow... When did insane become a legal term?

At 3:56 PM, Blogger christopher uggen said...

i dunno, i'm not even sure how i'd answer that question about my own household.


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