Date of Award

12-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Maureen C. McHugh, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Anson Long, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

David Myers, Ph.D.

Abstract

Social class is often defined as one’s income, occupation status, and education level. This definition fails to examine the culture that is created within each social class background. Class plays an important role in communication style, worldviews, hobbies, rules for interaction, one’s access to valued resources, such as education and medical care, and more. Diversity trainings and the research literature have been criticized for ignoring the diversity of social class, and how these differences influence interpersonal encounters (Ming-Lui, 2011). In addition, when social class is mentioned, it is often referring to those from low-income backgrounds, with little attention towards upper-class individuals (Fiske & Markus, 2012). For this project, the researcher developed a workshop that aimed to increase the visibility of social class as an important form of diversity. The workshop was interactive and focused on issues of social class, including the stereotypes of each class group, meritocracy, and classism. The workshop was administered to 39 undergraduate students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The results of the evaluation of the workshop demonstrated that workshop participants (when compared to the control condition) had lower levels of prejudice towards social class groups, increased knowledge about issues of social class, and an increased understanding of their own social class background.

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