Surveys of American Public Culture

Data File:

  • Cases: 1,203
  • Variables: 145

Data collection:

  • August - September, 2000

The Politics of Character—2000

Principal Investigators: James Davison Hunter and Carl Desportes Bowman

Sampling and Fieldwork by the University of Virginia Center for Survey Research

Surveys on contemporary politics abound, but surveys of political culture, the underpinning of politics, are lacking. The Politics of Character survey attempts to bridge the gap between ephemeral opinion and enduring understandings of character, linking the latter to the moral communities to which American citizens belong. A principal finding is that understandings of character are vague and weakly grounded, and that “character” in politics is more important rhetorically than practically. It is an ideal in search of substantive content.

The Politics of CharacterFull survey details and data on ARDA (this link will navigate you away from

Survey Report (download full report)

Citation: James Davison Hunter and Carl Desportes Bowman, Politics of Character: Survey of American Public Culture (Charlottesville, Va: Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia, 2000).

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The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture is an interdisciplinary research center and intellectual community at the University of Virginia committed to understanding contemporary cultural change and its individual and social consequences, training young scholars, and providing intellectual leadership in service to the public good.

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