Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Wendy J. Harrod

Second Advisor

Sharon R. Bird

Third Advisor

Susan D. Stewart

Abstract

This study explored the influence of interclass context on how people identify themselves as middle class. Data were collected from 676 employees of Iowa State University who categorized themselves as being in the middle class. Using an online survey design, all participants were randomly selected into an experimental condition in which they were asked to compare their own social class (i.e., the middle class) with either the working class or the upper class. In agreement with social identity theory, participants evaluated members of the upper class to be more successful, but less moral, than members of the middle class. On the other hand, while members of the working class were seen as less successful than members of the middle class, they were rated higher on morality. Results also show that participants perceived the relations between the middle class and the working class to be more permeable and less legitimate than the relations between the middle class and the upper class. Thus, results indicate that the middle class participants found themselves to be more similar to, and less distinct from, the working class in comparison to the upper class.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-17038

Publisher

Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/

Copyright Owner

Patrick Charles Archer

Language

en

Proquest ID

AAI3316194

OCLC Number

272669214

ISBN

9780549688280

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

185 pages

Included in

Sociology Commons

Share

COinS