Date

3-2014

Degree Name

BA in Communication Studies

Department

Communication Studies Department

Advisor(s)

Julia Woolley

Abstract

This study investigated how media portrayals of individuals in the lower class affect people’s beliefs about educational hardships in lower socioeconomic areas. Specifically, this study looked at the attributions of these hardships to determine if media consumption had an effect on the internality of attributions. It was hypothesized that increased media consumption would be related to an increased tendency toward internal attributions. It was hypothesized that increased media consumption would lead to lower support for policy changes regarding education. A survey was distributed to assess media consumption habits and attitudes toward educational hardships in the lower class. Correlation results yielded no support for the predicted relationships. However, results showed a nearly significant relationship between number of certain films seen and policy support. Theoretical implications are presented, along with limitations and suggestions for future research.