Date Thesis Awarded

2013

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Government

Advisor

Ronald Rapoport

Committee Member

Jaime Settle

Committee Member

Caroline Hanley

Abstract

This thesis examines what circumstances compel individuals to take policy preferences in line with their objective self-interest. In particular, I argue that social class plays an important role in shaping individuals' policy preferences. Whereas recent work in political science has examined social class from the perspective of socioeconomic status, I contend that conceptualizing social class as a group identity plays an important complementary role. I show that social class identification has a statistically and substantively significant effect – comparable to changes in partisanship, ideology, and income – on individuals' preferences for a policy related to their economic situation. Ignoring social class identification when evaluating class effects prevents us from fully understanding individuals' preferences, a weakness especially consequential amidst concerns about politicians' responsiveness to low-income people.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Comments

Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

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