Publication Date

4-2016

Advisor(s)

Clara Wilkins

Major

Psychology

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This research explored stereotypes associated with labels for White people: whites, white trash, and redneck. It also examined how these labels affect attitudes toward white subgroups. Participants described whites as dominant, elite, middle-class, and privileged. Rednecks and white trash were described with stereotypically negative characteristics, such as poor and uneducated. White trash were more likely to be characterized as dirty than rednecks, whereas rednecks were more likely to be characterized as prejudiced and country/Southern than white trash. Furthermore, I found that whites were perceived most positively, followed by rednecks, and white trash were perceived most negatively. Participants exposed to the labels white trash and redneck were less likely to endorse mainstream values than participants exposed to the label whites. These findings demonstrate that labels, such as white trash and redneck, negatively influence perceptions of low-status whites. Specifically, the labels white trash and redneck may be used to elicit classist and prejudiced views of low-status whites.

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