Beginning with the 1980 United States census, Reynolds Farley examined findings from three decennial censuses, summarizing that work in four ground-breaking books that compared demographic, social, and economic characteristics of Americans in and across decades. In the two edited volumes and two monographs—The Color Line and the Quality of Life in America (with Walter Allen) and The New American Reality: Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We Are Going—Farley analyzed and integrated tens of thousands of national statistics in illustrating how Americans have changed.

Ronald Inglehart and other ISR researchers, eager to expand on the Netherlands-based European Values Study, began a series of studies in collaboration with other countries to research political, social, and cultural values worldwide. Although the surveys began with just 22 countries, by 2008 ISR was working with social scientists from more than 60 nations.

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