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Lukas M. Horstmeier

  • United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Research Statement

     Social Class: The Role of Class Identity Management Strategies in Higher Education
Thesis Abstract:

    The prevailing level of an educational achievement gap between lower-class students and their higher-class peers has led to a grown interest in the psychological dimension of social class in higher education. Complementing objective and subjective measures of social class, this thesis explores the role of class identity management strategies (CIMS). Such strategies are, for example, utilized among university students from working-class backgrounds in response to status devaluation. Four commonly observed CIMS in the university context will be outlined: (1) desire to change, (2) experiences of assimilation, (3) experiences of hiding, and (4) expressions of categorization-avoidance. Rooted in social identity theory, different CIMS affect class-related psychological outcomes, such as individual mobility beliefs (IMB) and attitudes towards poverty (AtP), in addition to common measures of social class.

     Data include three studies (two cross-sectional [n1= 209, 65% female; n2= 332, 79% female] and one longitudinal [n3= 204, 69% female]) from Northern Ireland and the overall United Kingdom and are analyzed using structural equation modelling. Scales for the four CIMS are developed (Chapter 2) and their relations with socio-economic status (SES) and subjective social status (SSS) are explored (Chapter 3). Furthermore, the explanatory power of CIMS, in comparison to SES, SSS, is explored in regard to students’ IMB (Chapter 4) and AtP (Chapter 5). Suggestions regarding the application of different CIMS and future research on students’ class-based university experiences and social class identities is discussed (Chapter 6). Findings underscore the importance of class-related experiences, such as CIMS, as invisible sources of class-based influence and present evidence for the particular importance of experiences of assimilation.

Research Interests:
Social Classes
Group Boundaries
Social Justice
The Role of Stereotypes
(Ambivalent) Social Discrimination
Political Participation
Teaching L2-Lab CLasses 2017/18-2018
Test Libarian, School of Psychology 2016-2019
PG Student Rep 2014-2019
Before coming to Queens, I studied Political Science and Public Law (B.A.) at the Universities of Trier (Germany) and Tampere (Finland). Here I completed the Political Psychology program (M.Sc.).
At the University of Trier I was head of the student representation for Political Science and History (Fachschaft) and student member of the faculty council (Fachschaftsrat), and worked as a tutor for methods of Political Science.
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