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Data from South African survey now available

Data from three ESS modules replicated in the 2015 South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) is now available to view or download.

It means that attitudes in South Africa can now be compared with European countries who took part in Round 5 (2010/11), Round 6 (2012/13) and Round 7 (2014/15) of the ESS.

The collaboration between the ESS and SASAS was funded by the Newton Fund which is administered by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Supporting funds were also received from the South African National Research Foundation (NRF).

Questions included in the ESS Round 5 ‘Trust in criminal justice’ module, the Round 6 ‘Understandings and evaluations of democracy’ module and the Round 7 ‘Health inequalities’ module were fielded in the 2015 SASAS.

The module on criminal justice includes one question that was slightly modified from when it had been fielded by the ESS.

A revised formulation of one question was made by SASAS in consultation with the module designer, Professor Jonathan Jackson (LSE).

It aimed for a functional equivalent that retained the basic concept of distributive fairness, but allowed for the South African reality of race relations.

Whilst the results are still comparable, it has been classified as a country specific variable to allow individual users to decide on whether it should be directly comparable to ESS countries.

Early findings from the inclusion of the democracy module have found that South Africa is in line with many European countries when it comes to the importance of living in a democracy.

When asked about how democratic South Africa currently is on a scale of 0 to 10, the mean response was 6.8 - slightly above the 6.6 reported in the UK and down on the 7.8 reported in Sweden during ESS Round 6 (2012/13).

The ESS Round 8 (2016/17) rotating module on welfare attitudes will be fielded in the 14th annual round of SASAS this year.

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Stefan Swift
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