white working class; racial solidarity; class solidarity; disenfranchisement; American South; 2016 election


The purpose of this study was to answer the following question: why are the white working-class in America complicit in their own political and economic disenfranchisement? Moreover, this paper utilizes two time periods in American history, specifically, the Antebellum period and the Jim Crow era, and examines the white working-class’s behavioral pattern in these periods with the historical context in mind that took place in each of the eras. Through an analysis of the two studies, it is revealed that the white working-class has long been disenfranchised politically and economically. The white working-class of the past (specifically, the Antebellum period and the Jim Crow era) was then compared to the contemporary white working-class (specifically, the period from the 1960s to the present) to showcase how the white working-class contributed to their own political and economic disenfranchisement has been a consistent behavioral pattern that has been evident throughout American history. The 2016 Presidential Election was then used as a more situational example, rather than utilizing the historical context across American history to aid in answering the question of why the white working-class is complicit in their disenfranchisement.

Thesis Completion Year


Thesis Completion Semester


Thesis Chair

Knuckey, Jonathan


College of Sciences


School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs

Thesis Discipline

Political Science



Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus Access


Campus Location

Orlando (Main) Campus



Rights Statement

In Copyright