Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Political Science & International Relations

First Advisor

Dennis Wiedmann

Second Advisor

Murphy Fox

Third Advisor

Charlotte Jones

Abstract

The effects of religiosity, economic status, and social class upon social justice viewpoints of faculty and staff members at a small, private, Catholic, liberal arts college were investigated. This study was a partial replication of Perkins’ (1983, 1985, 1992) research into effects of religiosity upon social justice perspectives. The particular social justice perspectives included humanitarianism, egalitarianism, and racism. Respondents took a self-administered social attitudes and values survey. The results indicated that social justice perspectives are influenced not only by religiosity, economic status, and social class, but also age, gender, and political identification. The findings showed a similar relationship between strong religious commitment and heightened humanitarian concern as had been found in previous research. Additionally, a relationship between higher economic status among women and heightened egalitarianism was found, as were relationships between social class and heightened humanitarian concern. The specification effect of control variables upon relationships between the independent and dependent variables was a consistent trend throughout this research, and supports the hypothesis that several, and often, many, factors simultaneously influence individuals’ perspectives on social justice.

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