Social Class and Attitudes about Inequality: A Data-Driven Learning Guide
Goal & Concept
The goal of this module is to explore the ways in which attitudes about inequality and its causes and solutions differ between social classes. Crosstabulation will be used.
Social class is a measure of relative power, privilege, and opportunity in a society. Individuals in higher social classes generally have greater power and access to resources than individuals in lower social classes. Researchers may assign individuals to social classes on the basis of criteria such as occupation, education, income, wealth, and place of residence.
Americans' attitudes about social class and inequality are often characterized by competitive individualism-the belief that economic success is the result of hard work and ability. Competitive individualism stresses individual responsibility over structural factors as causes of social inequality.
Examples of possible research questions about social class and attitudes toward inequality:
What do Americans believe about the causes and consequences of inequality in America?
Do people from different social classes hold different attitudes about the level of inequality in the U.S.?
Do people from different social classes hold different attitudes about the causes of inequality in the U.S.?
Do people from different social classes hold different attitudes about solutions for inequality in the U.S.?
CITATION: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. Social Class and Attitudes about Inequality: A Data-Driven Learning Guide. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-04-16. Doi:10.3886/classineqattitudes
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