I explore public perceptions of corruption in the Senegalese case using public opinion survey data collected by the Afrobarometer in 2005. The primary questions I ask in this paper are: what can we learn by asking citizens to report their perceptions of corruption in social and political surveys as compared to a sort of ethnographic approach? What do these survey questions tell us about citizens’ perceptions and experiences with corruption in the Senegalese case? Finally, how do perceptions of corruption vary between individuals, and within the national state? I suggest that multi-level statistical techniques can help us to move toward new ways of conceptualizing citizens’ interactions with the state at levels other than the national. The paper demonstrates that individual-level effects do vary by environment, and that the climate of opinion surrounding an individual may directly affect individual evaluations.