The Roots of Attitudes on Inequality

attitudes on inequalityThe Opportunity Agenda strikes again. This month they released the results of their multi-dimensional “Opportunity Survey.” The purpose of the survey is to serve as a “roadmap for understanding views that shape society. It presents insights and data that can help social justice leaders move hearts, minds, and policy.” Here’s a snapshot from the Executive Survey.

Nine in 10 Americans see discrimination against one or more groups in U.S. society as a serious problem, while far fewer say government programs to deal with it are successful. Potential support for greater efforts thus exists—but only within a matrix of values, experiences, and priorities that forms the basis of perceptions of inequality and willingness to address it. The Opportunity Survey pulls apart those strands, measuring not only public attitudes about inequality and related policies but also the basic orientations that influence those views. Beyond customary political and ideological preferences, these include more fundamental values and beliefs that inform views of society and social policy.

Not only does the survey shed light on the underlying causes of attitudes about inequality and opportunity, but it also points the way forward with tools such as profiles of the type of Americans most likely to be activated. This is groundbreaking stuff, folks.

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