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Education and Political Party: The Effects of College or Social Class?

Terry S. Weiner and Bruce K. Eckland
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 84, No. 4 (Jan., 1979), pp. 911-928
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2778029
Page Count: 18
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Education and Political Party: The Effects of College or Social Class?
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Abstract

The relationship between education and political party preference is examined for nonsuthern males and females using retrospective data from a national sample of high school students followed up in 1970 at about age 30. As expected, the zero-order correlation between years to schooling and Republican party preference was found to be positive. However, controling for inherited partisan loyalties, class origins, and socioeconomic attainment, the positive correlation disappeared and, at least for males, the direct effect of higher education on being Republican was found to be negative, as those who view college as a socializing agent would have predicted. The implications of these findings for the apparent decline and future of class-based politics, as the proportion of college-educated voters continues to increase over the next several decades, are briefly discussed.

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