Public Perceptions in Remarkable Times: Tracking Change Through 25 Years of the Houston Survey: The Houston Area Survey 1982-2005.
By Stephen L. Klineberg. Houston: [Rice University’s Sociology Dept. Center on Race, Religion, and Urban Life], 2005. 47 pages, paperback, stapled. Over 40 charts and graphs in color. 8 ½ x 11. With a 9-photo montage on the cover. $10, plus ppd. Or download at http://www.houstonareasurvey.org. You may anticipate the soon to be released newest edition, polled earlier in 2006.
Stephen Klineberg was college educated in Philadelphia, Paris, and Harvard before joining the Rice Sociology Department in 1972. Ten years later, he began the “Houston Area Survey.” Now the survey is supported by a host of about 60 major corporate underwriters, sponsors, and friends as well as individual citizens; the back cover spotlights the Houston Endowment, Inc., SBC, Vinson & Elkins, Jain & Jain, P.C., Gallery Furniture, and the Houston Chronicle. The survey is now an integral understanding and planning document of many. It began 2 months before the strategic oil price fall, and the survey is now an integral understanding and planning document of many in the area. We are now embarked on upon another strategic population change with the rise of rise Hispanic population. In addition, the telephone survey deliberately seeks responses from folks who speak Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Korean. Occasional distinctions are made between Houston and Harris County. So, who are the Houstonians? Further commentary here is selective and subjectively chosen; Klineberg’s other data and narrative is insightful and improves its understanding.
In general. Jobs are, of course, essential. 50% believe job opportunities are excellent or good. The economic gap between rich and poor is clear and continuing to widen. 74% have environmental concerns. Traffic is still the big problem, over economy and crime. 66% support spending more to make the place attractive. Over 70% rate Houston as a good or excellent place to live. 77% want more public transit. About half acknowledge the importance of Downtown development. 86% want mental illness covered by company’s insurance. Half believe abortion is wrong, but only a third support legislation to restrict it. About half believe homosexuality is wrong, while the other half believe it is “not something people change.” Ethnic discrimination is still widely observed, more strongly against Blacks. Houston is 37% Hispanic, 31% Anglo, 25% Black, and 7% Asian and other.
Education. Latino immigrants have sharply less education, 51% with no high school degree. Asian immigrants are the reverse, 18% with some college, 36% with college degrees and 25% with post-graduate work, Filipinos particularly excelling. African immigrant also excel, with 92% having some college, degrees, or post-graduate work. Among Latinos, Cubans excel with 63% having some college, degrees, or post-graduate work.
Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S. It is meaningful to understand Houston because Houston leads the state.