An Analysis of Social Stigmas Regarding Poverty

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In this study, opinion regarding poverty on a national and international level as well as opinions pertaining to negative social stigmas surrounding poverty were collected from students and faculty of all demographics and backgrounds at Pittsburg State University with the intent to identify and understand possible hypocrisies in the way that society views people in poverty and the expenditure decisions that they may make. Survey-taking participants were between the ages of 17 and 80, represented various sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, and religions, and there were 123 people who took the 30-question survey. Qualtrics survey system was used to record, analyze, interpret, and calculate the quantitative data that was collected from the survey responses, and trick questions were used in order to ensure that responses were accurate and intentional. Results found that participants were likely to condemn poverty-stricken people for ‘spending beyond their means’ on material, status items, however, participants were also likely to acknowledge the hypocrisies within their own opinions.

The intent of this study was to prove that certain biases and environmental factors may shape a persons willingness or unwillingness to help those who are in poverty, as well as to prove how the stigmatization of poverty may prevent the system from changing.


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