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The Bogardus Social Distance Scale is a psychological testing scale created by Emory S. Bogardus to empirically measure people's willingness to participate in social contacts of varying degrees of closeness with members of diverse social groups, such as other racial and ethnic groups, sex offenders, and homosexuals.
The scale asks people the extent to which they would be accepting of each group (a score of 1.00 for a group is taken to indicate no social distance):
- As close relatives by marriage (score 1.00)
- As my close personal friends (2.00)
- As neighbors on the same street (3.00)
- As co-workers in the same occupation (4.00)
- As citizens in my country (5.00)
- As only visitors in my country (6.00)
- Would exclude from my country (7.00)
The Bogardus Social Distance Scale is a cumulative scale (a Guttman scale), because agreement with any item implies agreement with all preceding items. The scale has been criticized as too simple because the social distance in intimate relations may not be to attitudes concerning far-away contacts, such as citizens or visitors in my country.
Research by Bogardus first in 1925 and then repeated in 1946, 1956, and 1966 shows that the extent of social distancing in the US is decreasing slightly and fewer distinctions are being made among groups. A Web-based questionnaire has been running since late 1993. Internet users are encouraged to submit their responses here where the maintainer of this site has posted at least two papers that update research on social distance.
See also Edit
- Bogardus, Emory S., Social Distance in the City. Proceedings and Publications of the American Sociological Society. 20, 1926, 40-46.
- Babbie, E., 'The Practice of Social Research', 10th edition, Wadsworth, Thomson Learning Inc., ISBN 0534620299
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