3 years ago

How Unequal Is the United States? Adolescents’ Images of Social Stratification

Mariah Kornbluh, Constance A. Flanagan
This study highlights the use of pictorial images to understand adolescents’ views on social stratification. A continuum of five visual images of social stratification were presented to a diverse sample of five hundred ninety-eight 8th–12th graders (14–18 years old). Adolescents selected which image best represented the United States (today, in 20 years, how it ought to be). Images ranged from inequitable to egalitarian. Results supported reference group and possible selves theories. Adolescents in higher status families chose a more egalitarian image for how the United States is today and how it ought to be. African Americans considered the United States today more unequal. Differences in adolescents’ commitment to an egalitarian ideal depended on their reactions to inequality and their beliefs about government responsiveness, bolstering the measure's validity.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12954

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