The preparation of this article was supported by an NSF MU-ADVANCE Grant. The author would like to thank Heather Bullock, George Davis, Marianna Linz, Paige Muellerleile, Greta Rensenbrink, Tyler Sergent, Jamie Warner, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.
Struggling with Poverty: Implications for Theory and Policy of Increasing Research on Social Class-Based Stigma
Article first published online: 19 AUG 2009
© 2009 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Volume 9, Issue 1, pages 37–56, December 2009
How to Cite
Williams, W. R. (2009), Struggling with Poverty: Implications for Theory and Policy of Increasing Research on Social Class-Based Stigma. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 9: 37–56. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-2415.2009.01184.x
- Issue published online: 24 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 19 AUG 2009
Low-income people are stigmatized in a number of ways, including being negatively stereotyped and discriminated against both interpersonally and institutionally (see Lott & Bullock, 2007 for a comprehensive review). Yet psychologists have not focused much attention on social class in general, nor on social class-based stigma in particular. This article argues that by resolving three main problems in the literature (the achieved/ascribed discrepancy, the complexity of operationalizing social class, and the seeming lack of identification with one's social class), psychologists are in a unique position to use their knowledge to aid practitioners and policymakers in ameliorating the consequences of poverty. Thus, this article focuses on how better to incorporate social class into the stigma literature and how this research can be linked to social policy initiatives.