SSCI202 Workshop 7: Exploring the 2009 AuSSA Data


Workshop 7 introduces the 2009 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (AuSSA). The primary topic of the 2009 AuSSA is “social inequality”. The dataset is extracted from the 2009 International Social Survey Program (ISSP) data but includes only Australian respondents. The 2009 AuSSA is one of three datasets which you can use for your final survey report. If you want to know more about the 2009 AuSSA, visit

Download the dataset from the course website (iLearn). Click “2009 AuSSA SPSS Data File” under the section of Datasets. Upload this data file to your Google Drive as you did for the 2012 AuSSA and NSW Crime dataset. Open this file in SPSS. Then, you are ready to start the workshop 7.

Also, download “A Detailed Codebook of the 2009 AuSSA”. The codebook shows all the necessary information on variables in the dataset.

In this workshop, you are required to apply what you have learned so far to this new dataset (the 2009 AuSSA). Complete the Workshop Activity 7, which is all you have to do in the workshop 7. You may need to go back to the previous workshop instructions, which gives you a chance to review important SPSS techniques that will be used for the final survey report.

Workshop Activity 7: Exploring the 2009 AuSSA Data

  1. In an open society, top positions are allowed for anyone who aims to achieve them, and thus individuals’ efforts rather than family backgrounds determine accomplishments in their life. Let’s look at how Australians see opportunities to get ahead in society using two variables: opwlth and ophrdwrk. The first variable, opwlth, asks respondents the extent to which it is important to come from a wealthy family in getting ahead in society. The next variable, ophrdwrk, asks respondents the extent to which it is important to work hard in getting ahead in society. Five response options are provided: essential (=1), very important (=2), fairly important (=3), not very important (=4) and not important at all (=5). 1) Make frequency tables and visualise these two variables (Tip: If you are not sure how to make a frequency tabe, see Making a frequency table. If you are not sure how to visualise variables, see Visualising data). 2) Based on the frequency tables and visualisations, what is your conclusion? Do Australians still believe that Australia is the land of fair-go? Briefly justify your conclusion.

  1. Examine social class using a variable of class. 1) Make a frequency table of class and report the class categories that have the highest and the lowest frequency, respectively. 2) How would you describe the distribution of class? After then, MAKE a new class variable (newclass) by recoding class following the recoding scheme in <Table 1> in the below (Tip: If you are not sure how to recode variables, see Recoding variables.). Then, 3) make a frequency table of newclass and 4) report the class categories that have the highest and lowest frequency and their percentages.
Table 1: Recoding scheme for new class variable
Old variable(class)
New variable(newclass)
Values Labels Values Labels
1 Lower 1 Lower
2 Working
3 Lower middle
4 Middle 2 Middle
5 Upper middle 3 Upper
6 Upper

  1. Investigate whether people in different classes see fair opportunities for success in Australia differently. 1) Compare the distribution of opwlth and ophrdwrk by newclass using the “Explore” command (Tip: If you are not sure how to use the Explore command, see Comparing descriptive statistics between groups using Explore.). 2) Based on the result, how would you describe the relationship between social class and people’s view of fair opportunities for success.

Note: External students should post their answers to these three questions on the iLearn. This activity will contribute to your workshop participation marks.

Last updated on 26 September, 2019 by Dr Hang Young Lee(