Some researchers have claimed that there has been a substantial increase in political tolerance among the US public since the 1950s, while others assert that this increase is illusory -- though more tolerant of leftists, the public has simply found other targets on which to vent its intolerance. Data from Samuel A. Stouffer's 1954 survey on civil liberties (Communism, Conformity, & Civil Liberties, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1955) are reanalyzed after recalculating some of its measures to simulate the least-liked group question used in a study conducted twenty years later that arrived at different conclusions (Sullivan, John L., Piereson, James, & Marcus, George E., "An Alternative Conceptualization of Political Tolerance: Illusory Increases, 1950's-1970's," American Political Science Review, 1982, 73, 781-794). In addition, extensive trend data from polls conducted between 1940 & 1985 are analyzed. It is concluded that this shift does primarily reflect greater tolerance of leftists, although tolerance has fluctuated greatly over this period, largely due to changes in perceptions regarding threats from putatively subversive groups, especially domestic communists. However, the public's grasp of & concern about civil liberties seems so minimal that it can be argued that it really has no tangibly measurable attitude on the subject one way or the other. In A Note on "Trends in Political Tolerance", John L. Sullivan & George E. Marcus explain why they used the content-controlled measurement strategy in their initial study, defend their conceptualizations of tolerance & threat, & show why it is difficult to adequately compare their results with those of other researchers. It is concluded that Mueller is persuasive in arguing that attitudes toward communists have changed over time, but less so regarding changes in the level & structure of overall political tolerance. 6 Tables, 56 References. K. Hyatt
Discusses the considerable fluctuations in measured tolerance that have occurred over the last half century, and concludes with some comments about the degree to which the public can be said to be whimsical in its approach to the issue of civil liberties. Although the public seems able to react to news events in a predictable manner, it may be most useful to conclude that no meaningfully measurable attitude on tolerance exists. (PFB)
Factors influencing the tolerance level of evangelical Christians; 1972-88 survey data; US; based on conference paper. Whether evangelical Christians have less political tolerance; demographic variables, religiosity, and group affect.
RESEARCH ON POLITICAL TOLERANCE HAS MADE SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS IN RECENT YEARS BY IMPROVING THE MEASURES USED TO GAUGE PUBLIC OPINION. MUCH ATTENTION HAS BEEN DEVOTED TO DEVELOPING INDICATORS THAT CONTROL FOR GROUP AFFECT. CONTROLS FOR ACTIVITY AFFECT HAVE NOT BEEN PURSUED AS VIGOROUSLY. INDEED, MUCH OF THE PROGRESS HAS BEEN ALONG THE LINES OF SPECIFYING TOLERANCE FOR UNPOPULAR POLITICAL MINORITIES RATHER THAN TOLERANCE FOR UNORTHODOX OR THREATENING POLITICAL ACTIVITIES. MORE GENERALLY, TOLERANCE RESEARCH HAS NOT BEEN SENSITIVE TO THE VARIETY OF CONTEXTUAL FACTORS THAT DETERMINE CITIZEN ATTITUDES IN CIVIL-LIBERTIES DISPUTES. A NEW APPROACH TO MEASURING POLITICAL TOLERANCE IS PRESENTED IN THIS ARTICLE. THE MEASURES DEVELOPED IN THIS APPROACH DISAGGREGATE THE TRADITIONAL MEASURES OF TOLERANCE (SUCH AS STOUFFER'S (1955) SUPPORT FOR "A COMMUNIST MAKING A SPEECH IN YOUR COMMUNITY) IN PARTICULAR, SCALES MEASURING SUPPORT FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH, FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY, AND FREEDOM OF POLITICAL ASSOCIATION ARE PRESENTED. AS MULTIPLE-INDICATOR MEASURES POSING CONFLICTS AMONG VALUES, THESE SCALES ARE RELATED TO TRADITIONAL TOLERANCE MEASURES. HOWEVER, BECAUSE THEY REFLECT THE COMPLEXITY AND CONFLICT ASSOCIATED WITH ACTUAL CIVIL-LIBERTIES DISPUTES, THEY WILL NO DOUBT SERVE AS BETTER PREDICTORS OF OPINIONS AND BEHAVIORS IN ACTUAL DISPUTES.
Although victims of aggression, Croats have been labelled as intolerant and aggressor as imperilled. Several independent studies of tolerance have shown a relatively high level of political tolerance in Croatia. Since such results were contrary to the expected, in an American study data pointing to the toleration paradox were interpreted as inconsistent toleration. Also, some incidents that occurred in Croatia pertaining to the toleration paradox were used as indicators of the lack of tolerance. (SOI : PM: S. 44)
THIS IS A STUDY OF THE LEVELS AND ORIGINS OF POLITICAL TOLERANCE USING A SAMPLE OF 10- TO 17-YEAR-OLD WISCONSIN PREADULTS AND THEIR PARENTS. THE RESPONDENTS WERE INTERVIEWED BY TELEPHONE THREE TIMES FROM EARLY 1980 TO LATE 1981. IN GENERAL, POLITICAL TOLERANCE WAS LOW, BOTH FOR PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN. THE PREADULTS, HOWEVER, EXHIBITED GREATER POLITICAL TOLERANCE THAN DID THEIR PARENTS. INDEED, THEY SHOWED AN AGE-RELATED DEVELOPMENTAL PATTERN OPPOSITE TO THAT OF ADULTS. FOR TOLERATION OF COMMUNISTS AND OF RACISTS THERE WERE ROUGHLY THE SAME PATTERNS, BUT WITH SOME INTERESTING DIFFERENCES. THERE WERE SMALL, BUT SIGNIFICANT, PARENT AND CHILD CORRESPONDENCES. FAMILIAL INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION PATTERNS HAVE AN INFLUENCE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TOLERANCE IN CHILDREN. MASS-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION, HOWEVER, IS NOT SIGNIFICANTLY RELATED TO INSTILLING TOLERANT VALUES IN CHILDREN, ALTHOUGH IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ADULTS.
Finds Mueller's research to be persuasive in arguing that attitudes toward Communists have changed over time, but that his claims regarding the levels or structure of political tolerance to be less persuasive. (PFB)