Class and False Consciousness: Attitudes on Resource Distribution

James Macumber Hanover College
Faculty Sponsor(s): Kate Tuttle Hanover College
This study was designed to examine the impact an individual’s socioeconomic status (SES) has on resource distribution judgements. The impetus for this study was the finding that, upon a review of the literature, few if any studies on resource distribution considered the socioeconomic status of participants. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Following random assignment, the participants answered a series of questions about their SES. The participants then read one of two vignettes illustrating an example of a modern inequality. Afterwards, participants answered additional questionnaires, including the Belief in a Just World scale. I predict that participants will be more supportive of inequalities that appear to be the result of hard work, but other participants will be less supportive of inequalities which seemed extreme for the level of effort. Moreover, I have hypothesized that these differences will be shaped by the SES of the respondent. Results that support my hypothesis should generally suggest that people are less concerned, despite class background, with inequalities that are the result of hard work. However, all inequalities should have the highest support among the upper class, with the high inequality condition receiving mixed support from the middle and lower classes. Moving forward, future studies in Behavioral Economics should include measures of both Subjective Status and SES in order to further our understanding of the socio-political impacts of class.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

02:00 PM
Gallahue Hall 102