2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

Is Social Class an Accurate Predictor of Views of the Homeless? A Survey of Undergraduate Students at Truman State University
Daniel J. Wagner
Dr. Amber Johnson, Faculty Mentor

The purpose of this study was to test whether people of higher social class are more likely than those of lower social classes to blame homeless individuals for their lack of stability. This hypothesis is based largely on gift theory. According to gift theory, people of higher social class may be willing to help homeless individuals without actually seeking to fix the social problems that result in homelessness. A random sample of 550 undergraduate students was selected; 62 completed the survey. The results of the study showed that social class did not play a significant role in determining views of the homeless within this sample. A significant relationship was discovered, though, between whether or not respondents knew a homeless person and their opinion of the homeless population. Those who knew a homeless person showed a higher rate of favorable views of the homeless than those who did not.

Keywords: social class, homeless, homelessness, gift theory

Topic(s):Sociology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 12-
Location: GEO-SUB
Time: 

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