How COVID Vaccination Hesitancy, Social Class, and Economic Inequality Reveal a New Dimension of Public Trust
Keywords:Institutional trust, working class, public rhetoric, economic inequality, COVID 19
COVID vaccination data on United States’ citizens reveals that working-class citizens across multicultural domains and political identities are vaccinating at lower rates because working-class citizens do not feel that public institutions have met obligations to improve their life. This belief in unmet obligations illustrates a new facet of institutional trust: a general indifference to institutional requests. This indifference to institutional request, with indifference as a new dimension of trust, differs from past working-class scholarship on institutional trust, which often finds anger, submission, or scapegoating other groups as common responses to institutional request or rhetoric. This article also recapitulates the strong relationship between the U.S.’s high economic inequality and working-class lack of trust and indifference toward public institutions.
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