Brittany Collins Kaufman | October 18, 2016
Protests and demonstrations are an integral part of democracy, especially during election years. Data from these events give researchers insight into areas ranging from policy to social movements to religion. Historically, the best way to collect protest-event data has been to scour newspaper reports, a method that researchers have long admitted can lead to flawed or skewed information.
Now, researchers at the University of Notre Dame have created the first-ever nationally representative sample of protest events, giving researchers the opportunity to draw from a more complete picture of demonstrations around the country.
Kraig Beyerlein, associate professor of sociology at Notre Dame, and his team used hypernetwork sampling to create a catalog of protest events that occurred throughout the United States between the summer of 2010 and the summer of 2011, including very large events such as Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” and Glenn Beck’s “Rally to Restore Honor” as well as numerous smaller protests.