An Exploratory Analysis of Social Distances Expressed by Des Moines Area XI Community College Students Toward Selected Minority Groups
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The problem. This study was undertaken to determine the degrees of social distances expressed by a sample of Area XI Community College students toward eleven selected minority groups. In an exploratory manner, various socioeconomic variables were tested in order to determine the relationship to the expressed social distances. Procedure. A pilot survey was administered in order to determine those particular minority groups that would be included in the major investigation. A social distance scale as devised by Emory b. Bogardus was administered to a random sample of Area Community College students. The variables of social contact, race, age, sex, religion, politics, education, marital status, residential characteristics, income, and occupation were measured to determine any significant relationship to the social distances. An analysis of variance was performed to determine if differences occurred among the mean social distance scores for each of the independent variables. An F test was administered to each variable in order to determine significance levels. Cross-tabulation was also used in the analysis for further explanation. Findings. Differential degrees social distance were reported toward the eleven minority groups selected for analysis. There were differences in the overall mean social distance scores reported by the sub sample in this research, to those last reported by Emory S. Bogardus in his 1956 regional study. Prior social contact was significant only for the American Indian group. The socioeconomic variables of race, population, and income were also significant in relationship to the expressed social distances. Conclusions. The Bogardus social distance scale showed a general overall low amount of expressed social distance by the sample toward to the eleven minority groups selected for analysis. Recommendations. The results of this study point to the need of additional research, that analyzes the variables of social contact, race, population, and income plus other significant socioeconomic variables that influence social distances.
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