'Bootstraps' or 'Helping Hand:' An Exploration of the Relationship Between Economic Stratification Among Black Americans and Their Racial Attitudes Toward Merit-Based Opportunities and Affirmative Action
Date of Degree
Over the last thirty years, much has been written about the increasing disparity between Black Americans who have achieved upward mobility and those at the lower end of the economic spectrum. This dissertation utilizes the General Social Survey (GSS) to contribute to this dialogue on stratification within the Black American community. More specifically, it asks the questions: from 1994-2006 - during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations - how did socioeconomic status affect Blacks' racial attitudes about themselves? To answer this question, the racial attitudes of a sample of Black Americans of low socioeconomic status will be compared to the racial attitudes of their higher socioeconomic status counterparts across several demographic, attitudinal, and economic variables. The theoretic framework for this investigation includes stratification theory (Weber), group interest theory (Dawson, Shelton & Wilson), and the theory of opportunities and group consciousness (Chong & Kim).
Lee, Sherman Ernest Jr, "'Bootstraps' or 'Helping Hand:' An Exploration of the Relationship Between Economic Stratification Among Black Americans and Their Racial Attitudes Toward Merit-Based Opportunities and Affirmative Action" (2013). CUNY Academic Works.