is the Chicago Collar County Project?
C3 Project is a research inquiry into the sociological characteristics
of the suburbs surrounding Chicago. Northern Illinois Univeristy,
as a regional univeristy in this area, has as part of its
mission a goal to conduct research and serve this area. The
C3 project was developed by Prof. Charles Cappell, with support
from the Social Science Research Instititute, the Graduate
School, and the Department of Sociology to integrate teaching
and research using this community as "field laboratory".
The Collar Counties consist of Suburban Cook, DuPage, Kane,
Lake, McHenry, and Will counties. For some purposes, the
Collar is extended to 11 counties to include Boone, DeKalb,
Grundy, Kendall, and Winnebago counties. The project's objectives
are to collect and analyze information about this area and
Why is the Chicago Collar County project important?
According to the 2000 census, suburbs contain more people than urban cities or
rural areas. In Illinois, a large population, more affluent and politically consequential,
is concentrated in the Collar Counties. Yet sociologists know that suburban life
is quite different from the lifestyles of 50, or even 25, years ago. From a teaching
perspective, having students studying information about the C3 area is a practical
and interesting introduction to social science research. Results produced by
the C3 project should be of interest to residents, community leaders, suburban
planning agencies, news media, and scholars. The questionnaires are developed
to be consistent with concerns of previous political and community studies as
well as addressing new concerns. A few of the sources reviewed in the course
of this project are listed in the selected bibliography.
topics are addressed by the project?
Past surveys (5 as of 2004) have focused on several dimensions of the overall
quality of community life, 1) residents' evaluations of the performance of
their local governments; 2) their experiences with crime and attitudes about
neighborhood safety; 3) their experiences at work; 4) the quality of their
family life 5) the quality of their community life; 6) and their individual
Community census analysis portrays the changing demographic characteristics
of the Chicago Collar County communities and includes additional information
such as crime statistics and educational information.
is involved in the study?
Prof. Charles Cappell directs the project as part of his department research
activities. Whenever possible, students enrolled in a Survey Research course
participate, creating a unique opportunity for advanced undergraduates and
graduate students to conduct original survey research on relevant, local sociological
topics. The results from these project activities are used in Sociology courses,
so many undergraduate students obtain information about the communities where
they live. The N.I.U. Public Opinion Laboratory contributes its resources and
expertise to support the project. The Center for Governmental Studies provides
some additional data intermittantly. Funding has come from the Graduate School
and the Sociology Quantitative Research Laboratory.
is currently available?
The past five surveys are posted on this site. By linking to Survey Results,
viewers can see the responses to all of the questions that have been asked
in each of the surveys. Occasional reports offering more detailed analyses
of particular topics are posted through the link to Reports. So far, a report
on suburban stress and a report on multiculural attitudes are available. The
links to Community Census Analysis contains substantive maps of key demographic
information about Chicago Collar County communities.