Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Sociology


Granberg, Ellen

Committee Member

Witte , Jim

Committee Member

Nelson , Steven


This thesis studies the status of African Americans at two points in time (1985 and 2004). Status construction theory would suggest that a group of people who increased their possession of goal objects (like education) would also increase in status. However, this study finds that an increase in education of African Americans has not affected their status from 1985 to 2004. In fact, living in a region with a higher proportion of African Americans with college degrees actually lowers the percentage of African American confidants chosen. The results of this paper do not concur with the predictions of status construction theory and would suggest that more research be done on the topic of the decay of status and status construction theory's ability to explain it.