The goal of my research is to examine motivations for upper mobility vs stagnation of people in poverty. Bandura (1971) states people’s motivations do not come from their willpower and people are not trapped in their situation. However, 43% of Americans born poor, remain poor as adults and 27% of people remain near poor to poor (Pew 2013). I will examine individuals with higher upper mobility aspirations (HUMA) and those individuals with lower upper mobility aspirations (LUMA) in order to provide the salient factors contributing to the desire for upward mobility. Five hypothesis will be analyzed; (1) Individuals with aspirations for personal growth and development will be more likely to have a positive linear relationship to their agency. (2) Individuals are more likely to have a strong belief in personal motivators than belief in structural barriers. (3) Individuals with beliefs in structural barriers will not believe in having to change behaviors for upward mobility. (4) There is an association between respondent’s race and individual’s motivation for upward mobility. (5) There is an association between respondent’s gender and individual’s motivation for upward mobility. My prediction is LUMA individual’s attitudes about assimilation and structural barriers prevent them from moving upward. They will strong negative feelings towards having to change their speech and dress style to be successful. I hope provide a better understanding of the emotional and structural barriers that hinder upward mobility.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Gilliam, Trina, "The Great Escape: Making the Choice for Upward Social Mobility" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 1709.