Term of Award

Summer 2017

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

Ted Brimeyer

Committee Member 1

Chad Posick

Committee Member 2

Jonathan Grubb


Objectives. Gender, class, and racial inequality increased since the inception of neoliberal social policy in the early 1980s. Research suggest that individuals from structurally disadvantaged social positions (i.e., blacks, women, and members of the lower class) express attitudes that support increased government intervention in the economy. We examine if attitudes have changed over time as a result of increase inequality. Methods. I draw data from 1980, 1990, and 2000 from the General Social Survey (GSS) which is a nationally represented sample of United States residents. We measure respondent’s political-economic ideologies. Results. Attitudes of those from structurally disadvantaged social positions do differ in comparison to those from advantaged social positions in regard to political-economic ideology. However, those from disadvantaged social positions at times express more confidence in major companies and financial institutions than those from advantaged social positions. Conclusions. The dominant political-economic ideology in the United States changed significantly from the 1940s to the 1980s. Those from structurally disadvantaged social positons are more supportive of political-economic ideologies that prefer government intervention over self-regulating markets. But, the attitudes of whites and blacks and the lower and upper classes are at times converging, while attitudes of males and females have remained consistently different or diverged overtime.

Research Data and Supplementary Material