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Let me turn to racial issues, which were also mentioned by Professor Simon this morning. These have generated more controversy and governmental action than have any other domestic concerns.
On the one hand, there is evidence of great racial change. Within the last 40 years, the sterotypes of blacks which were once popular in the white community have been pretty much eliminated. As a result, attitudes of whites about blacks have changed and many more whites are now willing to accept blacks as equals. Between the mid-1940's and the mid-1960's, the proportion of whites who thought that blacks were as intelligent as whites rose from 40 percent to 80 percent. The proportion of whites who said they would not be disturbed if a black with an income and education similar to their own moved onto their blocks rose from 35 percent to 84 percent between 1942 and 1972. During the same span, the proportion of whites who claimed that white and black children should attend the same, not separate, public schools, increased from 30 to 84 percent.
Since the attitudes of whites about blacks have changed, we might expect that racial differences in the United States would decline. There are numerous indications of improvements in the status of blacks. Many blacks now complete college and pursue careers which were closed to them a score of years ago.
Almost 60 percent of the black population was living in poverty in 1959. That has decreased to about 32 percent at present. Blacks are elected to office and serve as judges or on juries in the very
States where they could not vote until the Civil Rights Act of 1965 became effective.
On the other hand, the unemployment rates of blacks persist at a level twice that of whites and after three decades of improvement, the typical black family in the United States has an income very much smaller than that of the typical white family.
Although whites endorse the principle of integrated schools and equal opportunities in housing, we know that the schools of many large cities now enroll few whites and we frequently read that the first black family to move into a white neighborhood finds garbage dumped on their stoop or paint slashed on their siding.
How do we put together the picture of racial progress with that of persistent racial difficulties? It appears that whites are increasingly willing to accept blacks in situations where the interracial contact is temporary or tangential. Thus, there is almost no white opposition now to integrated transportation and very little opposition on the part of whites to working with or for blacks or to voting for a black if he or she is the more qualified candidate.
However, in other circumstances where the interracial contact is more intimate or where the contact with blacks may be seen by whites as threatening things which they highly value, such as the quality of their neighborhood schools or the value of their homes, there is considerably greater resistance to accepting blacks.
The governmental programs developed in the last two decades to provide equal opportunities for blacks have been, I think, quite successful but they certainly have not closed the racial gap on most indicators of status. When these programs were initiated, we failed to
realize the tremendous scope of racial differences in the United States or the steps which would be necessary to insure equal opportunities.
Thus, even after a decade of effective programs, blacks are still poorer, less extensively educated, and typically they work at lower paying jobs than do whites. The numerous studies of racial relations sponsored by the National Science Foundation give us some answers, but we are very far from understanding the nature of racial change in the United States or assessing exactly which governmental policies mitigate or exacerbate racial differences in opportunities.
In conclusion, let me return to the three points I mentioned at the beginning. Social science research has made gains and thus a variety of decisionmakers in the public and private sector depend upon social science findings
However, there are very many unanswered questions and unresolved issues, so the need for further research is great. These investigations will be costly. I hope that the budget of the National Science Foundation will permit a continuation of the research.
Thank you very much.
Dr. Farley, you made some comments about research concerning political alienation. There are other types of alienation also, but those of us in politics are particularly concerned about political alienation.
Dr. FARLEY. I can appreciate that.
Mr. Brown. Does the sociological community have a theoretical framework within which it can make an analysis of the reasons for political alienation?
Dr. FARLEY. I believe it's a poorly developed theoretical framework. I think most of the sociological work in this area is addressed to testing more specific propositions. It is felt that either governmental changes or certain characteristics of individuals will lead them to be alienated from political processes.
I think there is not a well-developed theoretical structure which would allow people to either test propositions or make determinations of why there are these trends in alienation.
Mr. Brown. I'm trying to get at a point here with regard to the individual and political alienation. You have based your statement on the results of studies of large populations, but when you get down to alienation and understanding it, it involves understanding the individual.
Dr. FARLEY. Yes.
Mr. Brown. This would seem to indicate an area in which sociology and social psychology and some other fields ought to be trying to develop a common framework of analysis, at least. Would you be willing or able to comment as to whether you perceive that kind of cooperative activity developing in any of the areas where there may be some overlap in the fields of the social sciences?
Dr. Farley. I am most familiar with the types of research that are conducted at the University of Michigan. The Institute for Social Research there conducts a substantial fraction of the research on topics such as political alienation.
There is, indeed, a tradition within social psychology involving psychologists and sociologists looking at these issues, looking at the macro trends perhaps as a sociologist would, using a national sample, and also looking at the characteristics of individuals with specific demographic characteristics to find out which groups are giving certain kinds of answers.
With regard to what produces responses which we assume indicate alienation, there is certainly room for study. Psychologists are involved in those studies. I think there has been a good bit of cooperation. Perhaps there will be more in the future.
Mr. Brown. The Harris poll has been taking soundings on this for a number of years, maybe 10 or 15. The thrust of the pollings seems to indicate that there is a certain shift in value structure in the population. Are you prepared to suggest a framework for research on changing value structures?
Dr. FARLEY. No, I don't think I am.
Dr. FARLEY. I think the analysis of what the changes in values are as represented either by attitudes or by behavior is a subject of investigation for many sociologists and people in applied disciplines. The framework or development of frameworks for analyzing such data, for interpreting such trends, and for ultimately understanding what kinds of change are occurring is also a legitimate area of inquiry which is quite lively.
Mr. BROWN. All right. Dr. Farley, I think all of you have made a very useful contribution in terms of our understanding of your discipline and its relationships and foundations. May I just ask you, in conclusion, do you share the views expressed by Dr. Lane that the research opportunities in sociological science are such that it could usefully be funded at a considerably higher level?
Dr. Farley. I think so. I believe the proportion of applications in the social science area, the sociological area in the NSF, which are funded by the Foundation, is in the neighborhood of 25 to 27 percent.
Obviously, one would not want to fund at--I presume one would not want to fund 100 percent of the applications because even if they are of good quality, there may be some duplication, some questions of scale in splitting up research activities.
From reading National Science Foundation applications, my impression is that more than 25 percent of the applications deserve support.
Mr. Brown. All right. Thank you all very much. There is considerable additional questioning we would like to explore if we had the time. Unfortunately, we have some time constraints this afternoon. If we do need to get some additional information from you, I hope that we can submit the questions and you will respond to them.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Brown. We would now like to call Dr. Kenneth Prewitt, president of the Social Science Research Council and Dr. Frederick Mosteller, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Please come up, gentlemen. You have the distinction of putting the finishing touches on this day of testimony on the biological, social, and behavioral sciences. I hope that you will give us a statesmanlike perspective on the problems and opportunities in this field and how to overcome the difficulties.
STATEMENT OF DR. KENNETH PREWITT, PRESIDENT, SOCIAL SCI
ENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL; AND DR. FREDERICK MOSTELLER, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE
Mr. Brown. Do you want to start, Dr. Prewitt?
Dr. PREWITT Yes, I think that's appropriate. The president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science should certainly get the last word at these hearings.
I would like to say, if I may, Congressman Brown, on behalf of the social science community, not that I really officially speak for it, that not just myself personally, but a great many people are appreciative of these hearings. It is recognized that these hearings are in some respects a new venture for the subcommittee and many are grateful that social scientists have the opportunity to come and share with you some of the complexities in the funding situation and the research situation in the social sciences.
In my very brief testimony, I'm going to address three question that are frequent)y asked of me. I have chosen these three questions because I suspect that they are questions, or variants of them, that are frequently asked of you as well and perhaps are even ones that members of the subcommittee sometimes frame in their own minds.
Are the social and behavioral sciences useful to the Nation? Social scientists often study problems in our economy, in our schools, in our cities throughout our society which nevertheless resist solution. Why is this? Finally, how important is basic research of the kind supported by the National Science Foundation to the usefulness of social and behavioral sciences ?
Turning to the first question, the usefulness. One test of whether something is useful is whether it is used. The social and behavioral sciences clearly pass this market test. Everywhere I look, I see the practical application of concepts and ideas, of tools and techniques, of systematic data and ways of organizing information which can be traced to the social sciences.
Policymaking in this and other modern governments is heavily dependent upon a national statistical system which itself is the product of a half century of social science developments in measurement, statistics, demography, index construction, and survey methodology. Foreign policymaking and national security issues are debated and discussed in frameworks and often with information that owes much to the social scientific and humanistic research on non-American societies.
The language of discourse in government, in industry, and throughout the society draws upon the social sciences; terms such as externalities, reference groups, cost-benefit analyses, socialization, latent functions, all of these are social science terms which have found their way into public discourse.
To become more specific, I see the Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing making regular use of economic concepts, urban sociology, and sample surveys. I note that the Congressional Budget Office is largely staffed by economists, political scientists, and sociologists, and that these staff members bring the tools and concepts of their disciplines to the exacting task of advising on the national budget.
I see the Congressional Research Service and the General Accounting Office drawing upon the social science literature and consulting with persons trained in many social science disciplines. I doubt that the Antitrust Division in the Justice Department, now deliberating what action, if any, to take with respect to IBM and A.T. & T., could forecast the supply of goods and services or price fluctuations or job dislocations, or could analyze the relationship between corporate size and technological innovation, without the concepts and techniques of the social sciences.
Who, if not our social scientists and humanists, is going to provide the deeper interpretations and analysis of the enormous transformation now going on in China ?
Perhaps the heavy use of social science can be demonstrated most starkly by imagining an Office of Management and Budget, a Central Intelligence Agency, a Department of Labor, or any number of congressional committees totally stripped of any ideas or approaches or analytic techniques or information bases which derive from the social and behavioral sciences.
The very difficulty we have playing this counterfactual game, trying to imagine the modern governing process in the total absence of the social and behavioral sciences, convinces us that they are indeed in demand. I find, then, it is fairly easy to answer the question, are the social sciences used ?
I turn from this comparatively easy question, are the social sciences used, to the more demanding question, are they useful? The question appears in many forms. Some persons challenge the usefulness of social scientists because the problems which are said to be the subject matter of their studies resist solution.
Often this challenge is posed by comparing, unfavorably, the social with the natural sciences. If the natural scientists can produce the science which leads to putting a man on the moon, why cannot the social scientists produce the science which would lead to a strategy for decreasing crime and delinquency in America's cities or for predicting social revolutions in Third World countries? Setting aside the rejoinder that it took complicated organization, and thus administrative science, and theories of information processing and notions about human stress, and thus cognitive psychology, as well as calculations of rocket thrust to put a man on the moon, nevertheless, I take seriously the assertion that social science can never solve anything. I try to provide a response.
Let me tell a short story that will help put the usefulness issue in perspective. A quarter century ago, another president of the Social Science Research Council testified before a House committee. He came, in 1954, to defend the social sciences against the charge that they were part of a Communist conspiracy.
Well, we have all matured since then, the House, the social sciences, and the Nation, and I welcome the fact that I am here to defend the the social importance rather than the political patriotism of the social sciences.
In his testimony 26 years ago, Pendleton Herring told the following story. In the 1830's, when steamboats first began to come into use, there were some early problems with bursting boilers. A small research grant from the Secretary of the Treasury was given to a Professor Bates-I