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Proposal for an International, Comparative Study of Parent/Guardian Attitudes toward Childrens Suffrage (Concept-2)

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2.2. Proposal for an International, Comparative Study of Parent/Guardian
Attitudes toward Childrens Suffrage (Concept-2)

Goal and objectives of the study

The concept of childrens suffrage that we've cal led "Concept-1" formulates a social ideal with regard to the current state of affairs that includes hypotheses of potential acceptance/rejection by different population groups. These hypotheses require an intensive, sociological study for which Concept-2 lays the groundwork. Concept-2 sets forth the project goal, research objectives, a survey questionnaire to test specific hypotheses, organizational arrangements, scheduling, etc. Following is a summary.

The goal of the project is to determine attitudes of different social groups in different countries toward the idea of childrens voting rights. In the most general terms, by "attitudes" we mean levels of approval or disapproval (acceptance or rejection) of this idea. An investigation into the attitudes of different countries' populations toward childrens suffrage will show which nations are prepared to accept it, and which are not; or maybe all nations reject it, or maybe all are prepared to accept the idea. No matter what the findings may be, they are bound to be very important socially. Positive findings can be seen as an indication that the society is aware of the need for an efficient mechanism for tackling children's problems through the adoption of childrens suffrage and the enactment of appropriate legislation. Negative findings will be an indication that the society is not yet aware of the issues, and this result, in turn, can lead to a new study, trying to explain why this awareness is missing. The society may be disintegrating and unable to understand its v ital needs, or it is satisfied with its current operating mechanisms of handling children's problems, or it is indifferent to these problems, or whatever other explanation can be offered. The range of possible findings of the study is described in more detail below.

Research objectives. The general goal of the study includes several objectives specific to the social groups and countries selected for study.

With regard to social groups, the study has three parts, the investigation of attitudes toward childrens suffrage o­n the part of: 1) Parents and le gal guardians of children younger than 18, 2) Adult populations other than these parents and guardians, and 3) Children age 14 to17. The sociological findings may call for psychological research, requiring additional concepts. As for social inclusiveness, this study includes all groups of the population except children younger than 14, most of whom may be unable to form attitudes toward childrens suffrage.

With regard to countries, the study also has three distinctive parts, the investigation of attitudes toward childrens suffrage in the populations of: 1) Rich countries, 2) Poor countries, 3) The poorest countries. These countries are selected o­nly from democratic countries, in which suffrage has already been demonstrated to work. Differentiation criteria are gross domestic product per capita and income per capita. Due to its international scope, the project from the start is oriented toward a global, and not just regional, analysis. The project's international scope and comparative nature will allow us to determine levels of sensitivity to childrens suffrage in different regions of the world and different groups of countries (rich, poor, and poorest). Every country-specific subproject should provide a rationale for placing the country into o­ne of the three economic groupings. The country-specific subprojects will seek to determine in what countries (of those select ed) the introduction of childrens suffrage is likely to occur, or whether it will occur at all. To compare social groups within economic groupings of countries, each economic grouping will include at least two countries.

Although the goal of the project includes nine separate objectives, the first phase of our study is limited to two. The nine study objectives designate analysis of three social groups in three groupings of countries, but our subjects will be selected from o­nly o­ne social group, parents and guardians of children younger than 18, in o­nly two groups of countries, rich and poor.

Parents/guardians of children as key subjects of study

Minor children's parents/guardians are the first subjects of study. The attitudes of this social group toward childrens suffrage are crucial for childrens suffrage. The reason is obvious: if the exercise of childrens suffrage is incumbent o­n minor childrens parents/guardians, then whether childrens suffrage is to live or die depends o­n them . Even if other social groups say "yes" and this group says "no," their "no" will outweigh the "yes." Indeed, is there any group that knows children and their interests better than parent s/guardians? makes better choices among political candidates for their children's benefit? loves their children more, takes better care of them, bears more responsibility for them? There is o­nly o­ne answer no group other than the parents and guardians. The paramount importance of parents/guardians to the welfare of children makes this group indispensable for a study of attitudes toward childrens suffrage. For this reason, our study will be limited to a survey of attitudes of parents/guardians of minor children . The majority of this group are age 18 to 45, because this is when people are bringing up their children through the earliest, most difficult, stages of children's socialization. So our research is essentially a study of attitudes of young parents.

Selection of countries and cities

In the selection of countries, our project is confined to two groups : rich countries and poor countries, which are presently the most typical kinds of countries, inhabited by the majority of the earth's population. (Investigation of the poorest countries is reserved for subsequent studies.) It is presumed that rich countries have significantly higher levels of children's and parent/guardians' welfare than poor countries. Ideally, we would want to include all rich and poor, democratic countries, but this does not seem necessary for a preliminary study. For our study it is enough to select two rich countries from different continents. For instance, potential pairs of rich countries might be the U.S. with France, Australia, or Great Britain; Canada with Japan, Germany, or New Zeal and; etc. Our study will include o­nly o­ne pair of rich countries, e.g., the U.S. and Australia. The final selection will depend o­n availability of census data from which to draw appropriate sample s, permission from host countries, travel allowances for the principal investigator(s), and participation of resident sociologists.

Potential pairs of poor countries include the following: Russia with Mexico, Brazil, or India. Again, the final selection will be based o­n census data, permission, travel allowances, and selection of participant sociologists. Because the project is being initiated in Russia, Russia will be included in the study. In summary, the study will include four democratic countries: two classified as rich and two as poor.

To simplify the study, each country selected will be represented by a large city with a diverse population that resembles the country as a whole o­n key variables. For Russia, the city of choice is St.Petersburg, with a population of 4.7 million. For the U.S., the city of choice might be Chicago, with

a population of two million. The selection of cities in other countries will be made by participating sociologists in those countries. Later o­n, affiliated research projects can be conducted in other countries and cities using the tested methodology from this preliminary study.

Key hypotheses of the study

The manner of selection of groups, countries, and cities for examination allows us to formulate key hypotheses regarding attitudes of pa rents/guardians toward childrens suffrage and related legislation in different countries. These hypotheses reflect various assumptions about causes and consequences of positive and negative attitudes . Our hypotheses pertain to positive attitudes (approval of the concept and acceptance of appropriate legislation) and negative attitudes (disapproval of the concept and rejection of legislation) by parents/guardians of minor children. Attitudes will be considered positive if a significant majority of respondents answer "yes," and negative if a significant majority answer "no." Hypotheses differ by quality ( positive and negative) and by countries (rich and poor). Apart from such definitive answers, the study also will be taking into account indeterminate attitudes, exemplified by answers such as "don't know, unsure," etc. Indeterminate attitudes, having a multitude of possible explanations, are not reflected in our hypotheses. Possible causes will be explored during our interpretation of findings. There are other potentially significant differences, within poor country and rich country clusters , reflecting variations in attitudes toward childrens suffrage given a relatively "rich" or "poor" national environment. Variations that are not included in our hypotheses may appear when the project findings are analyzed, and these will require additional interpretation.

Based o­n the mentioned premises and limitations, we have formulated six main hypotheses, which the research findings will either corroborate or refute.

Hypotheses for rich countries

1. Parents/guardians of minor children WILL NOT SUPPORT childrens suffrage if they regard children's welfare and the handling of children's problems in their country as satisfactory. In this case, childrens suffrage is NOT seen as a pressing issue for their country at the present time.

2. Parents/guardians WILL SUPP ORT childrens suffrage if they consider a high level of children's welfare and the handling children's problems insufficient in their country. In this case, adoption of appropriate legislation ALSO will be seen as an important issue.

3. Parents/guardians WILL SUPPORT the idea of adoption of childrens suffrage in poorer countries as a way to enhance the quality of life in poorer countries. In this case, we envisage approval of assistance from rich countries to poorer countries to ward conceptualizing and realizing childrens suffrage. This hypothesis reflects a global level of awareness, in rich countries , in response to the concept of childrens suffrage.

Hypotheses for poor countries.

1. Parents/guardians of minor children WILL NO T SUPPORT childrens suffrage, if they a) distrust their government, do not believe in its ability to enhance children's welfare through any means, including childrens suffrage; b) are themselves indifferent to their children's welfare, which is a disturbing indicator of an intergenerational rupture and disintegration of society from within. Each of these causes is evidence of a systemic crisis, and calls for urgent action o­n the part of the government as well as relevant sociological research. In these countries, appropriate legislation can become a mobilizer and consolidator of society, and prevent society's collapse. Because of these capabilities, this legislation is very important for the society, even though the society has not yet become aware of it. This situation calls for an intense and comprehensive campaign, to explain to citizens the advantages of childrens suffrage.

2. Parents/guardians WILL SUPPOR T childrens suffrage, if they a) are concerned about their children's welfare and the way the nation handles children's problems, and b) they believe in the government's ability to address these problems. This would indicate that there exists a reciprocal sense of duty between generations (first of all, parents' sense of duty to their children), as well as a reciprocal sense of duty between the population and its government. This inspires optimism, and hope for an improvement of children's welfare and living standards. In this case, adoption of appropriate legislation ALSO will be seen as an important issue.

3. Parents/guardians WILL SUPPORT adoption of childrens suffrage in rich countries, as an example to follow and as a source of assistance to poorer countries. Again, this hypothesis reflects a global level of awareness in response to the concept of childrens suffrage.

The general hypothesis of the study is this: parents/guardians of minor children in poor countries will be more likely to support childrens suffrage, while parent s/guardians in rich countries will be more likely not to support childrens suffrage, and this is a result of differences in the general living standards in these countries, including the living standards of their children.

And yet, another possible result, which we consider the least likely, is that a majority of respondents will opt for the "DON'T KNOW," "UNSURE" answers, and this will demonstrate either indifference to the problems of their children or in sufficient knowledge about the concept of childrens suffrage.

The social significance of negative findings (demonstration of a negative attitude toward childrens suffrage) will be as great as the social significance of positive findings. Whereas, indeterminate findings will mean that we have work to do, to acquaint the global community with the importance of giving children the full rights of citizenship, exercised through their parents or guardians, to improve their quality of life and their likelihood of doing the same for future generations.

Questionnaire -- the key research instrument of the project

The questionnaire, to be ad ministered in conjunction with a stratified random sampling technique, is designed to meet the requirements of the objectives and hypotheses of the study. The questionnaire, to be distributed to parents and guardians of minor children, includes a brief explanatory note, a list of questions with coded responses, and biographical data to classify respondents by socio- economic group.

SURVEY:

PARENTS/GUARDIANS ATTITUDES TOWARD CHILDRENS SUFFRAGE

Dear parents and legal guardians!

This international survey seeks to learn what you think of the idea of a National Childrens Suffrage Law.

Childrens suffrage means that minor children, younger than 18, will have a legal RIGHT to vote, and to be entered into electoral registers, whereas the EXERCISE of this right (the actual voting) will be done by their parents or legal guardians.

The main goal of the Childrens Suffrage Law is to ensure priority state (budgetary) financing for the childrens sphere. It will establish by the parliamentary majority at all levels of legislative power. This majority is created by votes of parents and their children making the majority of voters. But do you, as parents and guardians, want to vote for your children, to establish priority financing of the childrens sphere, which includes all conditions of childhood - family, education, health care, sports, leisure, childrens problems of orphanhood, homelessness, drugs, crime, prostitution, etc.? This is our key question.

Your answers to the questions in the questionnaire will help us test our hypotheses, and learn about attitudes toward childrens suffrage in different countries of the world.

Questionnaire prepared by Leo Semashko, Ph. D., A/Professor, St. Petersburg, Russia,

QUESTIONNAIRE

(Your anonymity is protected. Please circle the numerical code for o­nly o­ne answer to each question):

1. In your opinion, how important is childrens sphere for our country?

1 Most important, the future of our country depends upon our children

2 Important but not paramount. o­ne or two more important spheres are:

_________________________________________________________

3 I do not know

2. Are you satisfied with what the government is doing about the following problems of childhood:

a. Education of children?

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

b. Health care for children?

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

c. Summer programs and after-school recreation?

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

d. Safe neighbourhoods for children?

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

e. Homelessness of children?

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

f. Delinquency of children?

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

3. Are you satisfied with what the government is doing for the children's sphere?

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

4. Would you like to establish priority budgetary financing for the childrens sphere?

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

5. If priority budgetary financing of the childrens sphere can be ensured o­nly by a legislative (parliamentary) majority, how you will consider it?

1 (I shall not support it)

2 (I do not know)

3 (I shall support it)

6. If o­nly childrens suffrage will establish a legislative (parliamentary) majority and priority budgetary financing of the childrens sphere, how will you consider this voting right?

1 (Negatively)

2 (I do not know)

3 (Positively)

7. If the right to vote for your children is given to you, will you use it?

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

8. Do you vote in elections?

1 NO / 2 YES, in some elections 3 YES, in most or all elections

9. Do you believe in the ability of the government to do more for the childrens sphere?

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

10. Do you want priority budgetary financing for the childrens sphere?

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

11a. Should rich countries support the idea of children's suffrage in poor countries, as a way to improve the quality of life of children? (Question o­nly for rich countries)

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

11b. Should poor countries support the idea of childrens suffrage in rich countries, as a way to improve the quality of life of children, as an example and source of help to poor countries? (Question o­nly for poor countries)

1 NO / 2 UNSURE / 3 YES

12. How well do you understand the idea of children's suffrage (voting right for children, exercised by their parents) and its possible consequences?

1 (I fully understand the idea and its consequences)

2 (I partly understand the idea and its consequences)

3 (I have just now learned about the idea from your questionnaire)

BIOGRAPHICAL DATA

(Please circle the numerical code for your answer, except for Q. 15, Number of children):

13. Your parental role:

1 (Mother) 2 (Father) 3 (Female Legal Guardian) 4 (Male Legal Guardian)

14. Your age:

1 (age 18-25) 2 (age 26-35) 3 (age 36-50) 4 (8or older)

15. Number of children in your household in each age group:

(____) 0 through 6 (____) 7 through 11 (____) 12 through 17

16. With whom are you raising your child/children:

1 (spouse) 2 (alone) 3 (alone, but with the help of another adult/adults)

17. Your highest grade in school/degree completed:

1 (none) 2 (elementary school) 3 (high school) 4 (4 year college or university) 5 (advanced degree)

18. Your current work status:

1 (employed or self-employed) 2 (other)

19. Sphere of your basic employment (within the past year):

1 (Social sphere: e.g., health, education, entertainment, pensioner, homemaker, student, disabled, jobless)

2 (Information sphere: e.g., scientist, engineer, media personnel, computer programmer, designer, advertiser)

3 (Organizational sphere: e.g., government, courts, correctional system, lawyer, manager, banker, military)

4 (Material sphere: e.g., industry, farming, sales, construction, transportation, food processing, food services)

20a. Household income per month in thousands of roubles (Russia*):

1 (less than 1.5) 2 (1.5+ to 3) 3 (3+ to 5) 4 (5+ to 10) 5 (10+ to 30) 6 (over 30)

20b. Household income per month in US dollars (Russia*):

1 (0-50) 2 (51-100) 3 (101-170) 4 (171-330) 5 (331-1000) 6 (over $1000)

*(for other countries, appropriate scales will be created for comparison)

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ANSWERS!

With two exceptions, questions for all four countries are the same or similar. The standard questionnaire has 12 opinion questions and 8 biographical questions. The opinion questions are designed to obtain respondent attitudes regarding various aspects of government response to the problems of childhood, from the most general evaluations of the importance of children's problems, to assessment of the value of voting behaviour, to specific questions regarding perception of the potential for childrens suffrage. Pivotal for the questionnaire are questions 4, 5, 6 and 7.

The opinion questions of the questionnaire are reduced to two simple key questions:

1. Do you, parents and guardians, want priority budgetary financing for the childrens sphere?

2. If o­nly childrens suffrage will establish priority budgetary financing of the childrens sphere, how will you consider this voting right?

The biographical questions are intended to help researchers assess the responses of more narrowly defined social groups within each sample, and to estimate how closely the sample represents the demographics of the country. The opinion questions in the questionnaire are designed to provide reasonably precise test s of the hypotheses. The unit of observation is a parent/guardian legally responsible for a child/children younger than 18. (Studies involving other population groups will have different observation units, and variations of the questionnaire will be designed for those studies.)

The distinctive feature and representativeness of the study, the method of random sampling

Given its concept and questionnaire, our project defies rigid categorization. The distinctive feature of our project is that it combines characteristics of different types of sociological research.

First, it is innovative, i.e., no o­ne, anywhere, has conducted this type of research. The project examines society's attitudes to the novel idea of childrens suffrage, as a political process which, as yet, has received little awareness or scholarly attention. So, researchers should be prepared to encounter obstacles and surprises, a result of the novelty of the project and its proposed realignment of political forces.

Second, the project is field research (not a lab experiment), and a diagnostic (problematic) study, whose purpose is to illuminate a practical social problem -- the problem of finding an efficient way for society to respond to problems of childhood by means of awarding children full rights of citizenship.

Third, this is a pilot study, meaning that it has several strong limitations (with regard to social groups, number of countries involve d, cities, etc.), due to which the present project may become a starting point for the expansion of the research o­n a grand scale.

Fourth, it is a mass survey (rather than an expert o­ne), with the population totalling millions of observation units (parents/guardians). It should be noted that in St .Petersburg alone the population of parents/guardians totals about 1.5 million people, with the city's overall population being 4.7 million and the number of children about 1 million.

Fifth, the selection of subjects must be randomized (respondents selected by means of a random sample). According to our estimate, the sample should be 1,000 observation units, i.e., 1,000 parents/guardians in the city under examination.

The sample should be representative of the general population o­n the following eight characteristics:

* Relationship of respondent to child/children (mother, father, legal guardian)

* Gender of respondent

* Age group of respondent

* Distribution of children by age group, or number of children younger than 18

* Percentage of single-parent families

* Education of respondent

* Income level of household

* Employment status of respondent

(These are maximum requirements, with three mini mum requirements: respondents gender, age, and education)

All parameters are included in the questionnaire's biographical section. The sample will be drawn through the method of stratified random sampling. This method's advantage is that it is likely to produce a more balanced representation of the population under examination than will a simple random sample.

The project's scheduling and timelines

In most general terms, the scheduling and timelines of this sociological study are as follows.

Preparatory stage: November 2003 - February 2004 (concepts, organization and financing).

1st stage: study of parents/guardians in 4 cities in 4 countries: March 2004 - June 2004. Findings of the first stage will be summarized in a joint presentation, to be delivered at the 36th International Congress of the International Institute of Sociology in Beijing in July, 2004. This paper will be sent to UNICEF.

2nd stage: study of parents/guardians in 4 countries (countries, not cities, the focus of the study). September 2004 - December 2004.

3rd stage: study of adult population, except parents/guardians and children aged 14-17, in 4 cities in 4 countries: January 2005 - June 2005.

4th stage: study of adult population, except parents/guardians and children aged 14-17, with the focus o­n countries, rather than cities. September 2005 - December 2005.

5th stage: completion of the final report encompassing the whole complex of the objects in the four countries, and the drafting of a research plan, for the same objects, in five continents (ountries in each continent, plus Australia): January 2006 - June 2006. o­n the basis of the final report, a joint paper will be prepared, to be delivered at the 16th International Sociological Congress of the International Sociological Association in Durban (Africa), in July, 2006. The final report and the paper, complemented with appropriate proposals, will be sent to UNICEF.

Alternative scheduling(simplified variant of study)

Preparatory stage: November 2003 - February 2004 (concepts, organization and financing).

1st stage: study of 1000 adults in 4 cities of 4 countries: March 2004 - June 2004

2nd stage: study of the attitudes of population (as represented through the three designated groups) to childrens suffrage in four countries (the focus o­n countries, not cities). September 2004 - June 2005.

3rd stage: study of the attitudes of population (as represented through the three designated groups) to childrens suffrage in four continents, 4-5 countries in each. September 2005 - December 2005.

4th stage: the completion of a final report o­n the whole complex of the objects in four continents (plus Australia). January 2006 - June 2006.

Gathering and analysis of data from the first stage

As noted earlier, the data is gathered through a randomized survey of parents/guardians in four large cities in four countries. For each city a city-specific research plan is to be drafted, but the method of drawing the random samples remains the same -- randomized stratified sampling. The sampling quota for each city would equal approximately 1000-1500 observation units.

Data is gathered through questionnaires, a sample of which is presented above. Parents are polled in pre-school childcare establishments or high education establishments (or in school districts, in those locales that have them). In schools, it appears advisable to conduct the polling at parents meetings of different classes. Guardians will have to be located through local education authorities (or school districts) and special arrangements will have to be made for polling them.

Alternative method of data gathering . Data is gathered through telephone interviews using representative samples (1000 respondents). Gender, age and education level are designated as control variables. This method will help to get response s to the questions pertaining to the subject under examination and will provide information o­n share amounts of population having underaged children, amounts of children in different social strata, share amounts of single-parent families, share amounts of children cared for by guardians. This method will help to evaluate the attitudes to childrens suffrage not o­nly o­n the part of parents/guardians of underaged children, but the rest of the population as well.

The methods of data gathering can be adjusted to suit specific nations; what is important is that the methods ensure representativeness and comparability of the results.

After a designated amount of questionnaires is completed, the data is statistic ally processed. This involves the checking of completed questionnaires, the closing of semi-open-ended questions, the coding of responses, statistical grouping, the compilation of tables, the calculation of statistical averages and other statistical measures.

The analysis and presentation of results

The analysis of findings will involve an analysis of the distribution of responses to each question, the compilation of a profile of each sample, and a compilation of tables in accordance with the guidelines for an analysis of responses to questions 4, 5, 6, and 7. Especially important is the task of comparative analysis of the results along two lines of inquiry: comparisons between cities representing rich and poor countries, and comparison of cities within groupings of rich and poor countries.

For each of the four cities, the findings will be presented in two languages: national and English (only o­ne language, English, will be used for English-speaking countries). These results will be put together in a single report, which will make the basis for the joint presentation/paper. Both the report and the presentation/paper will be discussed by the project participants. The report and the presentation, accompanied with appropriate proposals, will be submitted to UNICEF, sociological congresses, governmental bodies, the media, political parties with an interest in the issue, and non-governmental organizations.

The project's organizational arrangements and financing

To implement the first stage of the project, covering four cities in four countries, a group of sociologists will be recruited in each of the four cities; the number of researchers in each group to depend o­n the city, but generally, two to five. Each citys group will select its own project leader. The four groups will be united in an international group, which, in turn, will appoint two project leaders: a creative manager and an administrative manager. Members will communicate with the international group primarily through e-mail.

The international group will determine under the au spices of what international organization(s) it will conduct the research. UNICE F, since the UN Children's Fund take s charge of the majority of internationally important research projects relate d to children, seems the most appropriate choice. Undoubtedly, childrens suffrage is a project of international significance, both scholarly and practically, of great import for al l children of the world. So, the international research group should attempt to secure the patronage of UNICEF. As for the other international, regional and national organizations -- International, European, and American Sociological Associations, women's, parents' and youth associations, the International Institute of Sociology, etc., -- it is desirable that all of these organizations, too, provide sponsorship for the project, first of all in financial matters, and also by assisting in organizing groups of re searchers o­n the basis of already existing sociological laboratories and centers.

Financial matters will be handled by the international group together with the organizations under whose auspices the research will be conducted. It is not unreasonable to expect that these organizations will become, if not the sole, the major sources of funding. The funding amount will depend o­n the country and the project stage, the volume of labor involved, and standard wages for sociologists in these countries. For instance, the preparatory and first stages in Russia, in St.Petersburg, will require approximately USD 10,000, from which 5000 are necessary for survey realization of interrogation, and 5000 are necessary for preparation of the concepts and reports.

All surveys of the population o­n our theme at all stages can be conducted by the Agency of Social Information (ASI) in St.-Petersburg, which is o­ne of the most famous research centres of Russia. ASI is ready to join the International Research Project Attitudes of different population groups to children's suffrage. In 2003 ASI conducted research of international importance. The European project was carried out o­n behalf of the news agency Rosbalt o­n the eve of Saint-Petersburgs 300-year anniversary. The main purpose of the project was to find out respondents' attitudes to the celebration of Saint-Petersburgs jubilee, but the survey also included issues of international importance.

The project was unique, since the survey was carried out in 12 capitals of Western Europe in their native languages, and all of this was accomplished from the company's office. Fifteen hundred European citizens were surveyed.

Cities included in the project:

Amsterdam (Holland)

Brussels (Belgium)

Copenhagen (Denmark)

Hamburg (German)

Helsinki (Finland)

London (Great Britain)

Madrid (Spain)

Oslo (Norway)

Paris (France)

Rome (Italy)

Stockholm (Sweden)

Vienna (Austria)

In January, 2004, ASI conducted the next international research in eight capitals of Western Europe. This investigation is assessing European attitudes toward different regulations of the European Union Constitution, and toward the potential of Russias joining the European Union.

International surveys of this kind are conducted o­n the base of computer assisted telephone interviewing CATI BEELVIEW FUSION/TCI system. The technology provides the quickest way to receive accurate and reliable data. The main advantage of CATI technology over all other research methods is that the processes of data collection and input occur simultaneously. This allows a researcher to get the necessary information content about o­ne or another issue in the shortest possible time. The work of interviewers is under control. As a result, o­ne gets the highest quality of information as it's possible to get in a survey.

The cost of o­ne computer assisted telephone interview depends o­n sample methods, necessary quotas, length of interview, respondent's city and country. The interview can be carried out in all European languages, and also in all the most widespread world-wide languages.

The following table shows the cost of o­ne CATI interview with a questionnaire up to 10 minutes (USD).

St.-Petersburg

Other cities of Russia

European cities (on average)

Cities of other continents

Main quotas:
Gender
Age
Education
(simplified variant)

2.00

5.30

13.20

15.80

Additional quotas:
o­n parents/guardians (multiplies fieldwork minutes by 2.5 times)

5.00

13.00

33.00

39.60

A CATI survey of 1000 respondents (parents/guardians) in St.-Petersburg costs USD 5,000, in another Russian city USD 13,000, in a European city USD 33,000, in cities of other continents USD 40,000.

Hence, the preparatory and first study stages will require in all USD 130,000. In the alternative (simplified) variant it will require USD 55,000.

A survey of this type takes from o­ne and a half months, if o­ne city is involved, up to two and a half months, if four cities are involved. This includes all preparatory work, the survey itself, the data analysis, and preparation of a presentation.

Contact persons in ASI

Tatiana Shaidarova, Director General

Roman Mogilevsky, Research Manager

Agency of Social Information

Zastavskya St., 21/2 office 305

Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 196084

Telephone/fax: +7 (812) 380-29-85, +7 (812) 380-29-84

E-mail: info@asinfo.ru,

Site: http://www.asinfo.ru

In conclusion, we want to emphasize that Concept-1 is a theoretical-methodological foundation for a proposed international, comparative study of attitudes toward childrens suffrage, while Concept- 2 carries forward the proposal, with a plan to obtain survey data from randomly sampled parents/guardians of minor children in four large cities, in four countries.

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