Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Randy Gainey

Committee Member

Roderick Graham

Committee Member

Ingrid Whitaker


The purpose of this study is to examine the effect that socioeconomic status has on political participation in the United States. The elite of the United States have been able to amass incomprehensible amounts of power and wealth. From a C. Wright Mill’s conflict theory perspective, those who are in power seek a continuation, and those not in power seek to flip the scales—or at least get even. Using socioeconomic status as focal point of conflict, this study completed varying models of binary logistic regression to unfold the relationship present between socioeconomic status—educational attainment, student status, and household income—with political participation. Political participation is measured through two dichotomous variables, voting and voluntary participation. In order to best predict the relationship, control variables have been utilized. Results show that being a student in the past year had the most significant effect on political participation in both measures. Educational attainment was significant for voting, but not for voluntarily participating. Income was not significant for any of the regressions completed.


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