Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Sociology & Anthropology

First Advisor

Fr. Jeremiah Lowney

Second Advisor

Joan Stottlemyer

Third Advisor

Gene Franks

Abstract

The main theory examined in this study is that of Karl Marx, specifically his ideology on false consciousness. Important writings referred to in this research include Jonathan Turner and Charles Starnes on inequality in the American society and the article “Truth and Consequences: Some Economics of False Consciousness” by Donald Boudreaux and Eric Crampton. This study is a quantitative study that presents the results ofa survey measuring 100 citizens in Helena, Montana’s class status and perspectives of equality of opportunity. This survey was designed to measure a correlation between class statuses, based on educational level and occupational level, and the perspectives ofequality of opportunity in Helena, Montana. Control variables included in this survey were gender and age. The results ofthis survey show the stratified groupings (upper/lower) agreeing with each other that there is equal opportunity for various variables in Helena. The variable who one knows is the response to what most effects equal opportunity and religion is the variable seen as least effecting equal opportunity. The participants agreed that there is equal opportunity in Helena for minorities, elderly, youth, religion, gender, and political affiliation. They also agree that those who control the main institutions in society influence equal opportunity (city, county, school hoards, federal and state). The conclusion to this study acknowledges that there is an indication between the participant’s responses on equality of opportunity and the concept of false consciousness.

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