The Inequality of Politics: Social Class Rank and Political Participation

47 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2015

See all articles by Michael Kraus

Michael Kraus

Yale University, School of Management

Cameron Anderson

University of California, Berkeley - Organizational Behavior & Industrial Relations Group; University of California, Berkeley

Bennett Callaghan

Yale University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Date Written: April 28, 2015

Abstract

Perceived lower rank in the social class hierarchy reflects an individual’s relative lack of perceived social and economic worth in society. In the current study we tested the predictions that lower perceptions of social class rank elicit both reduced political participation and lower political self-efficacy. Study 1 found that students with lower perceived social class were less likely to seek information about student government. Study 2 found that perceptions of political self-efficacy accounted for the relationship between perceived social class rank and political participation. Study 3 established causal associations between perceived social class and political participation — a momentary manipulation of elevated perceived social class increased political efficacy and intentions to participate in politics. In Study 4, affirming the self reduced social class disparities in both perceived political participation and efficacy. Throughout the studies, perceptions of social class were consistently related to political participation, and these associations occurred after accounting for political ideology and objective indicators of social class. Discussion focused on the understudied psychological barriers that perpetuate voter inequality in society.

Suggested Citation

Kraus, Michael and Anderson, Cameron P. and Callaghan, Bennett, The Inequality of Politics: Social Class Rank and Political Participation (April 28, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2600107 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2600107

Michael Kraus (Contact Author)

Yale University, School of Management ( email )

165 Whitney Ave.
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.michaelwkraus.com

Cameron P. Anderson

University of California, Berkeley - Organizational Behavior & Industrial Relations Group ( email )

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Bennett Callaghan

Yale University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ( email )

Warner House
1 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,090
Abstract Views
3,953
Rank
38,148
PlumX Metrics