Project Title: Ohio Wesleyan Students’ Perceptions of Economic Issues and Inequality
Students: Cameron Dawson ’19, Johanna Meyer ’17, Alyssa Rhinesmith ’16, Carson Shaw ’18, and Viesulas Sliupas ’16
Mentor: Dr. Paul Dean
This project attempts to address the political campus climate at Ohio Wesleyan University by assessing associations and attitudes pertaining to Capitalism, Socialism, Democratic Socialism and Communism. Five members of Professor Dean's SOAN 358 class are currently conducting this project by surveying introductory lower 100 level classes at Ohio Wesleyan across departments. Surveying 100 level intro courses was strategic in attempting to broaden survey outreach for statistical significance and accurate representation of the "average" Ohio Wesleyan student's views on political systems. The research group has already collected over 150 surveys and will continue to collect and record data that will later be analyzed. The goal of this research is to assess the views of Ohio Wesleyan students pertaining to the viability of Democratic Socialism in the U.S. and the differences between the perceived ownership of wealth in the U.S. on Ohio Wesleyan's campus and the actual statistics of wealth ownership and inequality. The research also attempts to reveal the overall knowledge of politics and economic systems throughout the campus. The survey data will be compared across departments by major, race, gender, and level of parental educational background. The group will have collected over 150 surveys before data analysis to meet the Research Symposium presentation date.