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Eurobarometer 53 [electronic resource]: Racism, Information Society, General Services, and Food Labeling, April-May 2000

Harald Hartung
Computer Resource; Online
Ann Arbor, Mich. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor] 2001
ICPSR (Series)
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AVAILABLE. This study is freely available to ICPSR member institutions.
This round of Eurobarometer surveys queried respondents on standard Eurobarometer measures, such as how satisfied they were with their present life, whether they attempted to persuade others close to them to share their views on subjects they held strong opinions about, whether they discussed political matters, and how they viewed the need for societal change. Additional questions focused on the respondents' knowledge of and opinions on the European Union (EU), including how well-informed they felt about the EU, what sources of information about the EU they used, whether their country had benefited from being an EU member, and the extent of their personal interest in EU matters. Respondents were asked how their present situation compared with five years ago, whether they thought it would improve over the next five years, and if in the last five years they themselves, a family member, or a close friend had been unemployed or if the company they worked for had "made people redundant," i.e., laid people off. Respondents were also asked about how much news they currently watched on TV, read about in newspapers, or listened to on the radio, how fair they felt the media coverage of the EU was, whether their image of the EU was positive or negative, and which groups or types of people (e.g., children, the elderly, politicians, teachers, lawyers, factory workers, farmers, etc.) had more and which had less advantages from their country's EU membership. Other questions focused on how satisfied respondents were with the way democracy worked in their country and in the EU, how important various European institutions were in the life of the EU and whether they trusted them, the amount of pride they had in their nationality, and if they were for or against EU features such as a single currency, an independent European Central Bank, a common foreign policy, a common defense and security policy, and a European Union that is responsible beyond national, regional, and local governments. Opinions were sought on possible EU social and political actions, which nonmember countries should become members, the role of the European Parliament, and whether the EU should have a constitution. Other topics of focus in the surveys included racism, general services, food labeling, and information and communication technologies. Several questions about people of different nationalities, religions, or cultures queried respondents as to whether they found these people disturbing, whether they themselves felt they were part of the majority or minority in their country, and if they had a parent or grandparent of a different nationality, race, religion, or culture. Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with a number of statements about issues involving minority groups and education, housing, social benefits, international sport, cultural life, religious practices, employment, and the economy. Additionally, respondent opinion was sought on the size of minority populations in their country, how relations with minorities could be improved, whether restrictions should be placed on minority workers from outside the EU, and the proper place in society for these minorities. A few questions also queried respondents about cultural and religious differences that immigrants (i.e., people who were not citizens of a member state of the EU) brought to the EU and how the EU should handle various situations involving this group of people. Questions regarding services of general interest, specifically mobile and fixed telephone services, electric, gas, and water supply services, postal services, transport services within towns/cities, and rail services between towns/cities, probed for respondent opinion on ease of access, price and contract fairness, quality of service, and clearness of service-provided information. For each service, respondents were asked whether in the last 12 months they had personally made a complaint about the service to any complaint-handling body and how they felt the situation was handled. Another section of the surveys queried respondents on how often they read food labels, if they thought there was too much or too little information on food labels, if they trusted and understood food labels, whether potential harm or benefit information should appear on the labels, who should be responsible for the information, and if food labels affected their inclination to purchase food products. A number of questions gauged respondent sentiment on genetically modified organisms in food by asking what, if any, information should be shown on labels, how clear, comprehensive, and reliable the information should be, and if the respondent would be more inclined to buy food products labeled as having no genetically modified organisms or less inclined to buy food products labeled as having genetically modified organisms. Questions about technology asked if respondents currently had at home a satellite dish, cable TV, a digital TV, a DVD player, a game console, a computer, a computer with a CD-ROM, an Internet connection, a fax without a computer, a mobile phone, or an ISDN line. They were asked which of these they used personally, which they were interested in but didn't use, which they planned to buy in the next six months, and, for those without an ISDN line, the reasons why. Those using the Internet were given a list of Internet activities and asked to identify which they had engaged in in the last three months, and if they had reduced time spent on non-Internet activities such as watching TV, reading, listening to the radio, interacting with family and friends, or playing sports. Internet users were also asked where else they had access, how satisfied they were with the speed of their Internet connection, if they had considered a faster Internet connection, if they felt a faster connection was affordable, which Internet services they would be interested in using, and for which of those services they would be willing to pay. Standard demographic information collected on respondents included left-right political self-placement, party they would vote for if an election were held tomorrow, marital status, age at completion of education, current age, sex, number of people in household, number of children in household, current occupation, previous occupation, household income, size of locality, region of residence, availability of telephone in household, and language of interview (select countries).
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