Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Racial Prejudice, Individualism, and Political Identity: Understanding the Forty-Year Trend of Anti-Welfare Spending Preferences
by Lefebvre, Karlea, M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2017, 60; 10275732
Abstract (Summary)

A renewed attack on welfare requires a new perspective on an age-old question: why do Americans hate welfare? This research considers the findings and implications gathered from previous research on the topic and utilizes the theoretical predictions of group threat theory, the dominant ideology thesis of individualism, as well as investment theory of party competition in order to construct research hypotheses that appropriately addressed this research question. A secondary data analysis was conducted using existing statistics from the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey. It was determined that the 1990 General Social Survey dataset best fit the concepts developed in the literature review. This research used racial prejudice, individualism, and political identity indicators to predict anti-welfare spending preferences. It was found that race, political ideology, and individualism were the best predictors of anti-welfare spending preferences. Given the findings of this research, we suggest that if there were better education on the material reality of poverty—rather than a reliance on the internal reality that we often prefer to assume which allows us to blame the victim—we will be better equipped to address the structural issues of poverty.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hedley, Mark
Commitee: Finkelstein, Marv, Markowitz, Linda
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 56/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science, Sociology, Mass communications
Keywords: Individualism, Political identity, Racial prejudice, Stigma, Structuralism, Welfare
Publication Number: 10275732
ISBN: 978-1-369-78824-2
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