Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Clifford Staples


Existing research is limited in explaining the existence of and reasons for stereotypes held against trailer park residents. This study uses an experimental design to measure attitudes towards trailer park residents, specifically in terms of being considered worthy of society’s respect. An Internet questionnaire was designed and administered to a sample of 559 introductory sociology students at a Midwestern university using semantic differentials to measure attitudes towards a fictitious couple. Participants were divided into a control and an experimental group. The groups were presented with two different vignettes, which were the same except for the experimental group where the vignette contained the term trailer park as a descriptor. The results indicated differences between the control group and the experimental group on several measures were significant. The results supported the hypothesis that those who live in trailer parks were deemed less worthy of society’s respect by college students. In conclusion, the findings support the notion that people who live in trailer parks have been singled out in American culture for denigration.