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Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity 2022

“Class Consciousness and Political Attitudes”

Daniel Cummings

Senior, Sociology

Abstract

Class analysis generally deals with the economic aspects of social inequality. Combined with other forms of inequality, research on economic class can lead to a more thorough understanding of the character and consequences of the disparities that exist in modern society. Among such consequences are political identity and voting behavior. The subject has been studied from a variety of theoretical and analytical approaches, which has led to the creation of various frameworks for understanding and structuring class conditions, class consciousness, and their impact on political behavior. Analyazing survey data, some researchers have focused either on the subjective opinions held by individuals or objective criteria like income and education to determine class positions. Others have studied collective behavior in order to shed light on class relations and meaure class consciousness. The existing research allows what has already been studied to be synthesized into new approaches to class analysis, and these approaches can then be used to study class in the present. Using survey data collected from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students and residents from the Oshkosh community, the intention of this study is to explore the relationships that exist between class and political attitudes. The expcectation is that the more developed one’s class consciousness, the more one is likely to hold political views which support their class interests. The results may provide some insight into how objective conditions, subjective perceptions, and political behaviors are related, which may then allow for further study into addressing issues of social inequality.

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1 Comment

  1. Cordelia Bowlus

    Fascinating topic, Dan! You do a great job of identifying the gap in the literature and articulating how you hope to contribute to the understanding of the extent to which class consciousness impacts people’s political behaviors. I am really curious to hear what your findings will be.

    Reply

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