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date: 24 May 2018

Abstract and Keywords

During the 2012 United States presidential campaign, the Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates drew a stark line between “takers” and “makers,” claiming that too many Americans are “takers” because they receive more from the government and society than they contribute. In this chapter, we employ a critical social psychological framework to understand and deconstruct the political discourse surrounding “makers” versus “takers” and to illuminate the social psychology of social class and classism. This chapter focuses on attitudes and beliefs about social class that legitimize economic inequality and class disparities and the relationship of these beliefs to interclass relations and social and economic policy. In doing so, this chapter identifies the important role of social psychological research and justice-oriented frameworks in alleviating class-based disparities and classism.

Keywords: classism, discrimination, social class, economic inequality, poverty, welfare policy

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