Census and surveys: issues in religious self-identification
Panel at the 12th EASR conference at Liverpool Hope Organised by Dr Abby Day, Chair of SOCREL (Sociology of Religion study group, British Sociological Association) and Dr Bettina Schmidt, Honorary Secretary of the BASR (British Association for Study of Religions)
Self-identification on instruments such as surveys and censuses presents unique challenges and opportunities. The 2011 census for the UK revealed some interesting developments concerning the religious self-identification within the UK, particularly with the continuing increase of people who declare to have no religion. How does the utility of a census compare with, for example, larger surveys, from British Social Attitudes to the World Values Survey and how accurately can such data from any of those instruments represent changing religious landscapes? How does a faith in surveys and censuses manifest itself by discipline, and what impact does this have on our understanding of research methodology and outcomes? We invite to this panel papers discussing this and other issues concerning national census and survey design and data from the UK or any other country.