RPP 6: Quantitative Data Sources

  1. I am proposing to research the working class’ place in activism.


  1. This is because I want to find out what explains why the working class chooses activism techniques more typical to the urban class or middle class in different situations.


  1. In order to help my reader understand what causes the working class to sometimes identify with middle-class methods of activism, through legal means and professional organizations, or urban subaltern methods of activism, or more violent, loud, and illegal forms of protest.[1]


Q: What explains variation in activism methods used by the working class in Global South cities?


The dependent variable in this situation would be what method of activism is used by each case. I would have to compile this data set myself because the data does not really exist all in one place. Thus far, I’ve found that Gallup Poll Microdata for the Gallup World Poll would be the most helpful, although I’m waiting for them to hopefully approve my request to send the full dataset back. The survey asks some important questions which could help me compile a data set:


“Have you done any of the following in the past month? How about volunteered your time to an organization? (WP109) [2]

Have you done any of the following in the past month? How about voice your opinion to a public official? (WP111)[3]”

This represents two levels of activism I am interested in exploring as the dependent variable, working with organizations who promote certain issues and direct communication with officials. The Gallup Poll also includes information about the employment status, income, and location of each individual who answered these questions.


The main independent variable I would be testing for is income to investigate if this class designation if true. In addition, location would be another helpful independent variable to investigate if this information could be generalized across Global South cities or if the information is only relevant in each individual location. The dataset is limited in that there is not much representation of the more violent, loud, and illegal forms of protest I’d also like to observe.

[1][1]Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. Fitzgerald, The Craft of Research(4thed.), Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016, 54.

[2]Gallup World Poll, “WorIdwide Research: Methodology and Codebook”, Gallup Poll, 1-76.

[3]Ibid, 67.

One thought to “RPP 6: Quantitative Data Sources”

  1. Claudia — overall a good job here as you think about how you would conceptualize your project as a large-n statistical research project. The Gallup Polls that you discuss sound very relevant to your project, as do the specific polling questions that you note. The data from those questions would appear to be nominal data (Y/N answers), though, so I wonder whether there might be a way to capture your DV in terms of rates/frequency of certain types of activities? You might investigate the polling from the Pew Research Center (https://www.pewresearch.org/topics/polling/) as well since they often cover topics related to your puzzle area. As you think about case selection and units of analysis, you might also consider whether you are aiming to capture/compare individual level data (similar to the questions that you outline above) or whether the question might be more about how different organizations pursue activism. Keep thinking about these questions as you continue your research!

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