America Surveyed: The Making of a Modern Public


ACLS Fellowship Program



Named Award

ACLS/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Junior Faculty Fellow named award


This project investigates the emergence of, and debates over, popular surveys, polls, and statistics in the modern United States. Over the course of the twentieth century, a growing number of individuals would participate, as research subjects or as consumers of information, in an American public defined by social scientific numbers and norms. "America Surveyed" traces this history through key episodes in Americans' engagement with new social knowledge, among them the Middletown studies, early Gallup polls, and Kinsey Reports. It argues that, despite intense criticism of social scientific methods and conclusions, many Americans willingly submitted to surveys, gave new weight to aggregate data, and learned to measure themselves via social scientists' categories.