Predictors of Perceptions toward the Confederate Flag : The Impacts of Social Class and Sub-Regional Differences
Individuals typically fall within one of two categories when perceiving the Confederate flag: one, that it reflects Southern culture and regional pride, or two, that it represents racism and hatred. This work makes a case for the addition of social class and sub-regional residence to the understanding of perceptions toward the Confederate flag. I utilize two separate datasets, one that allows control for racial attitudes, and the other a control for Southern identity. In the former, I test the effects of social class and sub-regional residence in predicting whether a person supports the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Capitol, and in the latter, I test whether a respondent has a negative reaction to the Confederate flag. These analyses show that in both national samples, social class has an independent effect on perceptions to the flag. Respondents of the upper class are more likely to reject the public display of the flag and to have a negative reaction when presented with the symbol relative to members of the lower class. This thesis also shows that not only does being from the Non-South and Border States predict a stronger likelihood of wanting the Confederate flag removed relative to the Deep South respondents, but that different factors matter within the four sub-regions in predicting perception toward flag. For example, being from a rural area statistically predicts perception toward the flag only within the Deep South. In line with previous research, racial attitudes, Southern identity, and race, among other variables, predict flag perceptions. Further split model analyses show that key independent variables contrast among Black and White respondents, and lower, middle, and upper class respondents. Results are consistent with both symbolic politics theory and racial threat theory.
Talbert, Ryan. (January 2015). Predictors of Perceptions toward the Confederate Flag : The Impacts of Social Class and Sub-Regional Differences (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4881.)
Talbert, Ryan. Predictors of Perceptions toward the Confederate Flag : The Impacts of Social Class and Sub-Regional Differences. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, January 2015. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4881. December 08, 2019.
Talbert, Ryan, “Predictors of Perceptions toward the Confederate Flag : The Impacts of Social Class and Sub-Regional Differences” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, January 2015).
Talbert, Ryan. Predictors of Perceptions toward the Confederate Flag : The Impacts of Social Class and Sub-Regional Differences [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; January 2015.
East Carolina University