Dan Peterson

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology and Rural Studies


Very little research has been conducted in South Dakota on the subject of prejudice and discrimination. This research not only attempts to address this lack of research, but it also attempts to assess the functions that prejudicial attitudes may serve as well as to provide further insight into the explanatory power of divergent theoretical perspectives (psychological and sociological). In order to fill this gap in regional research, a questionnaire was administered to a sample of college freshman attending one of the state colleges in South Dakota. Results of the survey indicated that those sampled were neither unprejudiced nor highly prejudiced, but instead the sample revealed a "moderate" degree of prejudice. It was also discovered that this prejudice is distributed fairly evenly across the state and that the revealed prejudice stems primarily from learned and situational factors rather than from externalization (authoritarianism). In addition, this research supported the contention that there is a basic consistency between attitudes and behavior, albeit an imperfect one. It also supported the research that reports that the prejudice-discrimination relationship is affected by intimacy of contact but did not support the research reporting that conformity proneness was an important influence on attitudes or discrimination.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Prejudices -- South Dakota

Discrimination -- South Dakota

College students -- South Dakota -- Attitudes

Indians of North America -- South Dakota - Public opinion

South Dakota -- Race relations

Race discrimination -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University