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Picture of Changing Values, Attitudes and Behaviours in Ireland

Changing Values, Attitudes and Behaviours in Ireland

An Analysis of European Social Survey Data in Ireland, 2002-2012

Author(s): Michael J. Breen, Amy Erbe Healy
Subject: Irish Studies

Book Description

The European Social Survey (the ESS) is an academically-driven social survey designed to chart and explain the interaction between Europe’s changing institutions and the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of its diverse populations. Established in 2001, and currently preparing for its seventh round, this biennial cross-sectional survey covers more than thirty nations and employs the most rigorous methodologies. This volume provides an analysis of the Irish data over six rounds of the European Social Survey, focusing on the internal changes over time in Ireland and situating these changes in a broader European context.

The book’s core chapter deal with the primary themes of the European Social Survey: Institutional Trust, Democracy and Legitimacy; Political Engagement and Socio-Political Values; Moral and Social Values; Social Capital and Social Exclusion; and National, Ethnic, and Religious Identity. A separate chapter focuses on the survey’s rotating modules, which change from survey to survey. These topics include Citizenship, Involvement and Democracy; Immigration; Well-Being; Health; Economic Morality in Europe and Welfare Attitudes; and Trust in Criminal Justice. Each chapter provides a list of background literature to the topic in Ireland, an analysis of the data that will be both accessible for the general reader, but offering something deeper to the expert, and a clear comparison of how the Irish data fit in with the rest of Europe.

This book charts a changing Ireland over a highly significant period of its history. Given the significance of the ESS as the most rigorous social science survey in Europe and the scope of its questionnaires, this volume is highly pertinent both in terms of how it maps political, social, demographic and attitudinal changes in Ireland, and in the way it places those changes within a European context.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-9055-7
ISBN-10: 1-4438-9055-3
Date of Publication: 01/06/2016
Pages / Size: 270 / A5
Price: £47.99


Professor Michael Breen is Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland. He holds degrees from University College Dublin, University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome, and Syracuse University, New York. He is currently Chair of the governing authority of the European Social Survey and Chair of the European Values Study General Assembly. He is a member of the Irish Research Council’s International Advisory Board, and a former Government of Ireland Research Fellow. He is a Director of the Irish Centre for Catholic Studies and the Centre for Culture, Technology and Values, both located at Mary Immaculate College. A quantitative researcher, his primary research interests lie in the area of values, religious practice, and social change.

Dr Amy Erbe Healy is a quantitative sociologist, currently working on the New Deals project at Maynooth University, Co. Kildare, Ireland, comparing workplace regimes in Europe. Previously, she worked in the Department of Sociology at the University of Limerick both as a Lecturer and a Research Associate, and as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick analysing the European Social Survey. She holds degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the University of Limerick. Her research focuses mainly on cross-national comparisons and change over time within a European context. She has an interest in stratification and social exclusion. Recent research has looked at secularisation theory, convergence theory vis-à-vis consumption, the impact of austerity on political legitimacy, and the impact of austerity on religious belief and practice.