Because one aspect of this book is to assess generosity in relation to place of residence, we geocoded respondent addresses, mapped coordinates, and linked to tract-level data from the U.S. Decennial Census.10 Map I.1 shows the location of our survey respondents, which further evidences
figure i.i Survey respondents compared to US population demographics.
map i.i Geocoded residences for Science of Generosity survey respondents. While some Science of Generosity respondents are located in Alaska and Hawaii, due to their small respective sample sizes, these states are not depicted in the maps.
Science of Generosity 2010, Esri map in GeoCommons. Used by permission. Copyright © 2015 Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ. All rights reserved.
representativeness by shown location densities that generally reflect American population density.
To enhance our survey work, we also conducted qualitative research. From the nearly 2,000 survey respondents, we selected a stratified-quota sample of 40 respondents for in-person interviews. If the survey respondent was married or had a live-in romantic partner, we also included the spouse/partner in the interviews and observations. For 22 of the 40 respondents, spouses/partners were interviewed and observed in person, for a total of 62 interviewees. We called this portion of the study the “40-Families Study,”11 since the unit was the family and household of the respondent who participated in the survey. Figures I.2 and I.3 highlight some of the key demographic characteristics for the 40 families, evidencing the diverse representation among our participants of core social statuses. Appendix Table A.I.2 includes more extensive demographic details.
These interviews included three data collection efforts: traditional interviews, ethnographic observations, and extensive photographic evidence. Interviewers from the project spent four to eight hours with each household, during which we interviewed, observed, and photographed the people, their households, and their neighborhoods. Interviewers visited participating households on a number of occasions in order to reduce the length of each visit and to avoid observing a household on its “best behavior,” as can sometimes happen with a single interview visit. In most cases the interview of each respondent took place in two parts, so we visited the household twice for the primary respondent interview and, if applicable, two more times for the spouse or live-in partner interview. Traditional question-and-answer interviews accounted for about half of the time spent with the families. All interviews were recorded and transcribed, resulting in more than 1,000 pages of interview data.
Ethnographic observations were also collected on the household. Field notes detailed the households and the neighborhood in which the respondent lived. In addition interviewers spent some unstructured, unrecorded time with families, joining them for dinner or observing other aspects of their daily routine and lifestyles via unstructured and nonverbal methods. Combined this averaged to six hours spent per family, and the field notes total more than 500 single-spaced pages of observations on the families,
figure i.2 Interviewee demographics for gender, race/ethnicity, age, marital status, education level.
figure 1.3 Interviewee demographics for region, state, homeownership status, housing type, tenure.
including the interview participants, their children (if any), their homes, and their local communities.12
In addition to ethnographic field notes, interviewers also took photographs to capture visual forms of home conditions and lifestyles. They also took pictures as they traveled around each neighborhood, documenting other buildings in the area, relative level of disrepair, economic level, racial and ethnic composition, and safety. Pictures were also taken of the exterior and interior of the respondent’s house, documenting how it compared to other residences in the area and showing the apparent economic situation evidenced in belongings inside the residence. Racial and ethnic characteristics of the respondent and the respondent’s household and neighborhood were also observed. If the respondent had moved within the past year, observations and photographs were also collected on the prior residence and neighborhood. The project collected more than 1,000 photographs with accompanying descriptions, which helped shape our interpretations in this book.