Archive for the 'Culture, Values and Attitudes' Category

Influence of the Internet in Emerging and Developing Nations

The Pew Research Center examines the worldwide use and influence of the internet in it’s 2014 Global Attitudes Survey.

As more people around the world gain access to all the tools of the digital age, the internet will play a greater role in everyday life. And so far, people in emerging and developing nations say that the increasing use of the internet has been a good influence in the realms of education, personal relationships and the economy. But despite all the benefits of these new technologies, on balance people are more likely to say that the internet is a negative rather than a positive influence on morality, and they are divided about its effect on politics.

Download the full report (PDF) and the Topline Questionnaire (PDF).

Prisons Without Bars

Mark A.R. Kleinman, Angela Hawken and Ross Halperin propose a new solution to high incarceration rates, difficult re-entry into society and high recidivism rates.

For the transition from prison to life outside to be successful, it needs to be gradual. If someone needed to be locked up yesterday, he shouldn’t be completely at liberty today. And he shouldn’t be asked to go from utter dependency to total self-sufficiency in one flying leap. He needs both more control and more support. Neither alone is likely to do the job.

H/T Wonkblog

Visualizing U.S. Abortion Policies

Your Body, (Not) Your Choice is a collaboration between Katie Kowalsky, Dylan Moriarty, and Robin Tolochko for the Interactive Cartography & Geovisualization course at UW-Madison.

Due to complex laws, political jargon, and emotional fervor, abortion policy is a contentious topic. There is a wealth of information and misinformation. The combination of vague terminology and lack of uniformity among state laws makes it difficult to interpret the true national status of abortion rights.

The map shows various abortion policies, such as mandated counseling, waiting periods and mandatory ultrasounds by state and over time.

H/T Flowing Data

No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the No Ceilings initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation published an interactive website marking the 20th anniversary of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

In 1995, at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, leaders from governments and civil society around the world came together and committed to ensuring that women and girls have the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of life.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of that moment. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the No Ceilings initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation have joined forces to gather data and analyze the gains made for women and girls over the last two decades, as well as the gaps that remain.

This site and The Full Participation Report are the result—home to 850,000 data points, spanning more than 20 years, from over 190 countries. Through data visualizations and stories, we aim to present the gains and gaps in understandable, sharable ways—including by making the data open and easily available.

The full report and data are also available.

Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities

The Pew Research Center has released a new report (PDF) analyzing governmental and societal impingement on religious beliefs and practices.

This article looks at the overall trends. And this article examines the restrictions and hostilities in the most populous countries.

Lynchings in America

lynchings_map

[click here for link to NYT graphic]

The Equal Justice Initiative has documented 4,000 lynchings in the South between 1870 and 1950. This resource is potentially useful for examining out-migration of blacks, particularly men, from the South during this era. It could also be useful for explaining current race-based inequalities, including incarceration.

Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror
Summary Report | Equal Justice Initiative
February 2015

Supplement: Lynchings by County [pdf only]

Note that the graphic by the New York Times has a time-dimension in it. I am awaiting the full report from the Equal Justice Initiative to see what additional detail is available in it.

Press Coverage [scroll down]

Diminishing Returns of Incarceration

In an article for the FiveThirtyEight website, Oliver Roeder discusses a report he co-authored with Lauren-Brooke Eisen and Julia Bowling for the Brennan Center for Justice which examines the limited effect of incarceration on crime rates.

Report abstract:

What Caused the Crime Decline? examines one of the nation’s least understood recent phenomena – the dramatic decline in crime nationwide over the past two decades – and analyzes various theories for why it occurred, by reviewing more than 40 years of data from all 50 states and the 50 largest cities. It concludes that over-harsh criminal justice policies, particularly increased incarceration, which rose even more dramatically over the same period, were not the main drivers of the crime decline. In fact, the report finds that increased incarceration has been declining in its effectiveness as a crime control tactic for more than 30 years. Its effect on crime rates since 1990 has been limited, and has been non-existent since 2000.

More important were various social, economic, and environmental factors, such as growth in income and an aging population. The introduction of CompStat, a data-driven policing technique, also played a significant role in reducing crime in cities that introduced it.

The report concludes that considering the immense social, fiscal, and economic costs of mass incarceration, programs that improve economic opportunities, modernize policing practices, and expand treatment and rehabilitation programs, all could be a better public safety investment.

FiveThirtyEight article, The Imprisoner’s Dilemma
Brennan Center for Justice Report, What Caused the Crime Decline?

The Gap in Public and Scientist’s Views on Science and Society

The Pew Research Center explores the differences between the ways scientists and the public view science and society.

Read the full article
Complete report (PDF)
Topline Questionnaire (PDF)
Interactive graphs

More fun with names

Who knew that the name Violet was such a good example of a bi-modal distribution?

bi-modal

This was drawn from a very fun post:

How to Tell Someone’s Age When All You Know is Her Name
Nate Silver and Allison McCann | FiveThirtyEight blog
May 29, 2014

We had a previous post on fun with the Social Security names database.

This age of names example is a great applied demography exercise – calculating the median age of names. For that you’ll need a link to the full names database and cohort life tables:

Beyond the Top 1000 Names
Cohort Life Tables for the Social Security Areas by Calendar Year

Here’s also a nice link to some Big Data exercises via Python. There is a lot of code sharing in this GitHub repository.

Chicago’s Summer Jobs Program Lowers Violent Crime Rate

By: Emily Badger
Via: Wonkblog

A couple of years ago, the city of Chicago started a summer jobs program for teenagers attending high schools in some of the city’s high-crime, low-income neighborhoods. The program was meant, of course, to connect students to work. But officials also hoped that it might curb the kinds of problems — like higher crime — that arise when there’s no work to be found.

Read the rest of the article
Research on the program was conducted by the University of Chicago Crime Lab and published in the journal Science.