Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Catherine Berheide


Does social class affect political party affiliation in the African-American community? Drawing on two contrasting theories: the theory of group interests and class-based theories of stratification put forth by Wilson and Shelton (2006), I propose that African -Americans who report being of a high socio-economic class are more likely to be Republican than African Americans of a lower socio-economic class. Through secondary analysis of data provided by the General Social Survey (GSS), I investigate the relationship between political party affiliation and social class in the African-American community. By combining data across 20 years between 1996 and 2016, the sample size is 1557 African-Americans. Measures of socio-economic status are limited to a single variable that asks respondents about their subjective social class, while the dependent variable was operationalized by a variable that inquires the respondent's political party affiliation. Multiple regression analysis reveals that there is no statistically significant relationship between social class and political party affiliation. There is however, a relationship between political party affiliation and another measure of social class, specifically the respondents' level of education. The strongest predictor of political party affiliation is the age of the respondents which gives insight on future voting patterns in the African-American community. While the hypothesis is not supported, the results shed light on the potential reasons for increased support for the Republican Party among African-Americans and could be used to predict voting outcomes among African-Americans for future elections.