State of the First Amendment Survey 1997

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > State of the First Amendment > Summary


The State of the First Amendment survey, conducted annually (since 1997, except for 1998) for the First Amendment Center by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut, examines public attitudes toward freedom of speech, press, religion and the rights of assembly and petition. Core questions, asked each year, include awareness of First Amendment freedoms, overall assessments of whether there is too much or too little freedom of speech, press, and religion in the U.S., levels of tolerance for various types of public expression (such as flag-burning and singing songs with potentially offensive lyrics), levels of tolerance for various journalistic behaviors, attitudes toward prayer in schools, and level of support for amending the Constitution to prohibit flag-burning or defacement. Additional (non-core) questions asked in the 1997 survey include how important various Constitutional rights are to people, whether people engaged in various kinds of public or political behaviors during the past year, and how free people feel to speak their minds in various settings.

Data File
Cases: 1,025
Variables: 108
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: July 17 - August 1, 1997
Funded By
Freedom Forum
Collection Procedures
Computer-aided telephone interview
Sampling Procedures
A total of 1,026 telephone interviews were conducted with a nationally representative sample of non-institutionalized adults in the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut. These interviews took place on weekday evenings, on Saturday mornings and afternoons, and on Sunday afternoons and evenings.
Principal Investigators
The First Amendment Center and the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut