ISSP1999: Social Inequality III

journal contribution
posted on 08.03.2017 by Philip Gendall

The ninth of 20 years of International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) surveys within New Zealand, by Professor Philip Gendall, Department of Marketing, Massey University.

A verbose rundown on topics covered follows.

Attitudes towards social inequality. Social background and good relations as most important prerequisites for success in the society; most important criteria for social mobility (scale: personal effort, intelligence or corruption); reasons for and acceptance of social inequality; self-assessment of payment suitable for performance; estimation of actual and adequate monthly income for occupational groups; responsibility of government to reduce income differences; attitude to a progressive tax rate; assessment of the economic differences between poor and rich countries; attitude towards compensation by additional taxes in the wealthy countries (redistribution).

Justification of better medical supply and better education for people with higher income; assumption of conflicts between social groups in the country; self-assessment on a top-bottom-scale and expectation of the individual level in 10 years; social mobility; criteria for the classification of payment for work (scale: responsibility, education, supervisor function, needed support for family and children or quality of job performance); feeling of a just payment; characterisation of the actual and the desired social system of the country, measured by classification on pyramid diagrams; Self-assessment of the respondent as well as classification of an unskilled factory worker and a chairman of a large corporation on a top-bottom-scale; number of books in the parental home in the respondent’s youth.

Demography: Age; sex; living together with a partner; marital status; school education; denomination; occupation status; profession (ISCO code); occupation in the public sector; autonomy; working hours per week; net income of the respondent; supervisor function; occupation status, profession and supervisor function of the partner; household structure; family income; size of household; city size; region; own unemployment within the last few years and duration of this unemployment; religiousness; frequency of going to church; forms of the faith in God; Self-assessment of the social class; union membership; party preference; participation in elections; Living situation and living status; in some countries: ethnic membership of the respondent.


Department of Marketing, Massey University



The sample was selected from the New Zealand Electoral Rolls, with systematic random sampling within the 66 electorates in New Zealand at the time - approximately 22 people from each electorate.

Data Collector

Department of Marketing, Massey University.

Mode of Collection

Mail survey: the questionnaire together with a covering letter was sent to 2,100 selected participants on 27 May 1999. Three weeks later, a reminder letter and another questionnaire were sent to the non-respondents. A second reminder and another questionnaire were mailed to remaining non-respondents after a further three weeks. The survey was closed off on 30 August, 13 weeks after the initial mailing.

Series Information

The ISSP is a continuing annual programme of cross-national collaboration on surveys covering topics important for social science research. It brings together pre-existing social science projects and coordinates research goals, thereby adding a cross-national, cross-cultural perspective to the individual national studies. The ISSP researchers especially concentrate on developing questions that are meaningful and relevant to all countries, and can be expressed in an equivalent manner in all relevant languages.

Publisher (e.g. University of Auckland)

Massey University

Contact email


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