Classism Outside of Class: Social Class and Faculty-Staff Relations
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Classism is an oppressive form of negative interpersonal behavior that occurs because of different social classes. Compared to other forms of oppression (e.g., sexism, racism), classism is understudied in organizational contexts. The purpose of this study was to address this gap in the literature by examining experiences and outcomes (i.e., job satisfaction, turnover intentions, affective organizational commitment, and psychological distress) of classism from faculty toward staff in a university context. Staff social class status (i.e., education, income) and organizational actions against interpersonal mistreatment were also examined as moderators of this relationship. Data came from a sample of 252 staff (80% female, 76% white) employed at a large southern university in the United States who completed an online survey. While there was no clear group of employees who were the most impacted by experiencing classism, results suggest that classism is prevalent in the workplace and it is harmful to employees. This study demonstrates the need to study classism in different contexts and not expect employees who are the lowest ranked to be most negatively affected.
Walker, Jessica Marie (2018). Classism Outside of Class: Social Class and Faculty-Staff Relations. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from