Families Pass Money and Opportunities Down: Adolescent Constructions of Social Class

Sabrina Williamson Sullenberger, Carol Hostetter, Leila Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Poverty is a prevalent issue addressed by social workers and other helping professionals. When working to engage citizens in anti-poverty efforts, it is necessary to understand how people conceptualize social class. In this qualitative study, the grounded theory method is utilized to understand how adolescents describe and define social class. Adolescents view family of origin socioeconomic status, higher education opportunities, and social mobility as key factors that shape individual socioeconomic status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-652
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • adolescence
  • grounded theory
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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