At the most general level the Soviet Interview Project (SIP) General Survey raises a perennial issue in Soviet studies: Is the Soviet socialist system fundamentally different from the industrial and postindustrial societies of the West? Does it represent a different genus of social, political, and economic system? Or is it instead merely a different species of the Western systems that we know much more about because they are more open societies? This issue has troubled Western social science from the origins of Soviet studies. At stake is whether standard tools of analysis of the various social science disciplines are appropriate for study of Soviet society. If not, new and quite different methods would have to be applied in its analysis.