Interdependence Promotes the Strengths of Employees from Working-Class Contexts

Project: Research project

Project Details


To have an opportunity to achieve the American Dream, people from working-class backgrounds strive to attain success in middle-class settings, such as institutions of higher education and white-collar workplaces. One reason these middle-class settings tend to disadvantage working-class Americans is because they assume that the American ideal of independence is the only “right” way to be effective or competent (Ridgeway & Fisk, 2012; Stephens, Fryberg, Markus, Johnson, Covarrubias, 2012). Importantly, this cultural ideal excludes the interdependent ways of being competent common in many working-class contexts. Building on previous research, we propose here that the “right” or most effective way to be competent differs according to social class context. In particular, we test the hypothesis that people from diverse social class contexts will be most effective when their culture-specific competencies match the context’s cultural ideal of competence.
Effective start/end date5/1/179/30/19


  • Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. (TWCF0212)


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