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Title: Socioeconomic risk and the class-basis of reasoning during market transitions
Author: van Taack, William
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 4196
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This dissertation investigates the nature by which social class membership and identity figure in judgements of transition institutions for the citizens of post-communist Central and Eastern Europe. Using a unique dataset and a series of novel conceptual frameworks, it argues that social class is, in effect, an operationalisation of socioeconomic risk and vulnerability-a premise from which several important implications derive. Drawing on social identity theory, it presents and tests a model of self-conceptualisation, grounded in the belief that individuals variously identify with their social classes, depending on their perceptions of shared socioeconomic risk. From this, it follows that strong identifiers should derive more relevant information about the emerging market system from class-level economic experiences, and therefore accord these cues greater weight in judgements about transition institutions. Beyond testing this theory of interpersonal variation, it invokes signal detection theory from cognitive psychology to determine whether cross-group differences in economic vulnerability are responsible for observed class differentials in reliance on class-based economic cues. It then takes a wider view of class-based economic cognition by considering how the process of transition, itself, influenced the evaluative calculus of post-communist citizens. Building on cognitive mobilisation theory in political science, it is posited that on-going exposure to the prevailing economic system endows these citizens with the ability to link their class-level economic experiences to the effects of the market mechanism. The analysis largely supports the constituent hypotheses, as well as the larger notion that perceptions of shared socioeconomic risk led social class experiences to figure prominently in the minds of post-communist citizens.
Supervisor: Evans, Geoffrey ; Duch, Raymond Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political Economy ; Behaviorism (Political science) ; Political psychology ; Political science ; signal detection theory ; post-communist ; social class ; identity economics ; marketization ; social identity theory ; Transition Economies