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  • Authors: Douglas M. More;

    J NDIVIDUAL social mobility may be consideredaschangeof "position" within a hierarchy of reference in a society. The hiearchy of positions may be specified by any one or a combination of qualities which provide a scale, or at least which we can conceive as having scalable properties. Position determining qualities common in sociological research are economic status, occupation, and reputed prestige. In a medieval guild situation, creative manual skill might have been one quality at issue. In a theocratic community, certain moral virtues could be the strongest determiners of position. And, in some modern, authoritarian states, it appears that political "purity" is a major factor. This paper directs attention to occupation as an indicator of social status in the American scene. Change of occupation will be taken as an indicator of social mobility. The use of occupation as the sole indicator of social status is justified to a degree by such a finding as that of Warner that placements of individuals based on it are correlated strongly (r equals 0.91) with evaluated participation placements derived from interviews within communities. More recently, Kahl and Davis in a systematic test of a variety of social placement techniques show that occupation is one of the best referents by which to estimate position.' Once position is specified, there are several points of reference from which social mobility may be assessed. Change of status might be determined with respect to such "bench marks" as father's status, status of siblings, or of high school peer associates, or of present work group associates. They might be assessed even against some fantasy group with which a person desires to be compared. Change may also be considered along the individual's own adult work history. In this latter instance it is necessary to account not only for changes in absolute level of attainments, but also for time rates of the changes, for average rates of increased attainment with maturity in the population, and the coordination of these with broad economic trends in the society as a whole. In this paper we will deal with changes vis-a-vis familial reference groups and will consider other of these questions in future reports. A reference group in Merton's sense is some body of persons with respect to whom an individual "Cmeasures") or may be expected to assess his own performance.2 The relativistic framework so implied is with little question the most scientifically appropriate one when attempting to treat a system of forces and their behavior resultants-as is the case in studies of social mobility. A structuralpositional analysis will not necessarily provide adequate delineation of social forces; and, it is true, the referential-relativistic one may not necessarily indicate relevant social structure. Studies coordinating both types of analysis are needed eventually to gain a more nearly complete grasp of the social matrix. The reference groups with which we shall deal are those of the subjects' fathers, and of their older and younger siblings. There appears to be considerable utility in considering the family of origin as a reference group, although this usage differs slightly from the membership and nonmembership distinction Merton has emphasized.3 The general hypothesis is that upward social mobility is associated with satisfaction to the individual, and that downward social mobility is associated with frustrations. This applies, of course, to groups of people on a statistical basis, rather than to any selected person. There are occasional individuals to whom a taste of success merely leads to an increased neurotic drive for further achievement, and conversely those who gain emotional satisfaction from perpetual failures. We assume these are sufficiently rare not to obscure the general trend hypothesized. The statement of this general hypothesis lead to * Paper read at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Society, 1955. 1 See, for example, W. Lloyd Warner, et al., Social Class in America (Chicago: Science Research Associates, 1949) esp. chap. 10; and Joseph A. Kahl and James A. Davis, "A Comparison of Indexes of SocioEconomic Status," American Sociological Review, XX (1955), 317-25. 2 Robert K. Merton and Alice S. Kitt, "Contributions to the Theory of Reference Group Behavior," in Continuities in Social Research, R. K. Merton and P. F. Lazarsfeld (eds.) (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1950). 3 Merton and Kitt, op. cit., esp. pp. 84-95.

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    Social Forces
    Article . 1956 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: Karl E. Bauman;

    Sociologists have given several explanations for the relationship between status inconsistency and various dependent variables, but they have not reported empirical tests of their speculations. The present paper reports research which was designed to find out if unsatisfactory social interaction-a variable frequently used to explain the relationships-is related to status inconsistency, and to also explore the relationship between inconsistency and community dissatisfaction, a dependent variable which has not been included in inconsistency research. Contrary to what is hypothesized, middle-class persons in the study sample who have inconsistent statuses are more likely to experience satisfactory social interaction and community satisfaction than individuals with consistent statuses. This finding is interpreted by inferring that the unique nature of the study population determines the influence of inconsistency upon behavior. Persons with high occupation and low education or income are most satisfied with their interaction and community. T he concept of status consistency recognizes that a society has a plurality of status hierarchies and that all members are assigned a rank in each of the hierarchies. A person is said to have consistent statuses when all of his statuses are on the same horizontal level. Conversely, when one or more of a person's statuses are not on the same level he is said to be characterized by status inconsistency. The major significance of this variable is that persons with inconsistent statuses are more likely than those with consistent statuses to exhibit such behaviors as psychological stress, extreme political attitudes and actions, and social isolation.1 Various interpretations have been offered to explain how inconsistency influences individuals to behave in these ways but the speculations have not been subjected to direct test. Empirical analyses of the explanations are imperative for the development of a theory of social stratification. The purpose of this paper is to report research which was designed to test the reasoning often * The data reported in this paper are from a larger study which was sponsored by grant NsG-508 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to the Institute for Social Research of the Florida State University. I am indebted to Charles M. Grigg for allowing me to participate in all the phases of that project, and to Gerhard E. Lenski for providing many valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper. 1 Studies showing a relationship between inconsistency and these three dependent variables are: (1) Elton F. Jackson, "Status Consistency and Symptoms of Stress," American Sociological Review, 27 (August 1962), pp. 469-480; and Elton F. Jackson and Peter J. Burke, "Status and Symptoms of Stress: Additive and Interaction Effects," American Sociological Review, 30 (August 1965), pp. 556-564; (2) James A. Geschwender, "Status Consistency, Cognitive Dissonance, and Social Change," unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Michigan State University, 1962; Irwin W. Goffman, "Status Consistency and Preference for Change in Power Distribution," Amiericacn Sociological Review, 22 (June 1957), pp. 275-281; Gerhard E. Lenski, "Status Crystallization: A Non-Vertical Dimension of Social Status," American Sociological Review, 19 (August 1954), pp. 405-413; Gary B. Rush, "Status Consistency and Right-Wing Extremism," American Sociological Review, 32 (February 1967), pp. 86-92; and David R. Schmitt, "An Attitudinal Correlate of the Status Congruency of Married Women," Social Forces, 44 (December 1965), pp. 190-195; (3) Geschwender, op. cit.; and Gerhard E. Lenski, "Social Participation and Status Crystallization," American Sociological Review, 21 (August 1956), pp. 458-464. This content downloaded from 207.46.13.103 on Thu, 20 Oct 2016 03:59:28 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms

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    Article . 1968 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1968 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: James Tamplin Laing;
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    Social Forces
    Article . 1938 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1938 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: Edward G. Stockwell;
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    Social Forces
    Article . 1963 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1963 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: Edwin D. Lawson; Walter E. Boek;
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    Social Forces
    Article . 1960 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1960 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: Alan C. Kerckhoff; A. Jackson;

    We examine the effects of high school curriculum and vocational training on occupational outcomes among young men 25-29 and 29-33 years of age. The effects on both occupational status and occupational routines (concern with people, data, and things) are reported. Returns to years of schooling tend to be greater for whites, but returns to curriculum and vocational training are generally greater for blacks. The major exceptions to stronger effects of vocational training for blacks involve skilled manual training and occupations dealing with things. The findings are interpreted as indicating that (a) the usual status attainment model has inadequately specified the relationship between educational and occupational attainment, (b) the common conclusion that black occupational outcomes are less predictable than those of whites is unwarranted, and (c) curriculuim and vocational training have such strong effects for blacks because they help move blacks into peopleand data-processing occupations. The great outpouring of publications dealing with the status attainment process which followed Blau and Duncan's innovative analysis has been primarily concerned with elaborating the conceptualization of the antecedent processes leading up to levels of educational attainment and the specification of patterns of attainment experienced by various subgroups of the population-male/female, black/white differences, etc. More recently, appraisals of this work have focused on either the structural constraints within which the processes occur (Beck et al.) or the fact that occupational outcomes have been defined too narrowly. Although the core of this body of research has used either a socioeconomic scale or a prestige scale of occupations, more recently attention has been given to other ways to conceptualize occupational outcomes (Mortimer; Wilson; Wright and Perrone). As a Partial support for this research was provided by the Biomedical Research Support Grant from Duke University. We are grateful to Richard T. Campbell for his advice and comments. ? 1982 The University of North Carolina Press. 0037-7732/82/010024-45$02.20

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    Article . 1982 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1982 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: Douglas S. Massey; Gretchen A. Condran; Nancy A. Denton;

    This paper investigates some of the consequences of black residential segregation using specially compiled data for Philadelphia in 1980. Blacks, like whites, at- tempt to improve their neighborhood characteristics with rising social status, but unlike whites, they face strong barriers to residential mobility. As a result, high status blacks must live in neighborhoods with fewer resources and amenities than whites of similar background. Specifically, they live in poorer, more dilapidated areas characterized by higher rates of poverty, dependency, crime, and mortality, and they must send their children to public schools populated by low income stu- dents who score badly on standardized tests. These findings suggest that racial segregation remains an important basis for stratification in U.S. society. In December of 1985, four hundred whites stood in the streets of south- west Philadelphia shouting racial epithets and protesting the movement of a black family into the working class neighborhood. The newspaper head- lines provided the city and the nation with a shocking reminder of the constraints that blacks still face in choosing where to live (Cass 1986). However, at the same time, blacks and whites across town lived together peacefully in many other areas, including some of the city's wealthiest neighborhoods, where the regular entry and exit of black families elicited no comment at all. This paper explores this apparent paradox and explains why some blacks are allowed to assimilate spatially, while others are not. Using specially prepared data from Philadelphia, we document the detri- mental consequences of racial segregation for blacks in American society.

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    Article . 1987 . Peer-reviewed
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    Article . 1987 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1987 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1987 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: John P. Murchison;
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    Social Forces
    Article . 1935 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1935 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: Nathan Kantrowitz;
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    Social Forces
    Article . 1974 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1974 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: Christine L. Williams; Robert Max Jackson;
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    Article . 1999 . Peer-reviewed
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    Contemporary Sociology A Journal of Reviews
    Article . 2000 . Peer-reviewed
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277 Research products (1 rule applied)
  • Authors: Douglas M. More;

    J NDIVIDUAL social mobility may be consideredaschangeof "position" within a hierarchy of reference in a society. The hiearchy of positions may be specified by any one or a combination of qualities which provide a scale, or at least which we can conceive as having scalable properties. Position determining qualities common in sociological research are economic status, occupation, and reputed prestige. In a medieval guild situation, creative manual skill might have been one quality at issue. In a theocratic community, certain moral virtues could be the strongest determiners of position. And, in some modern, authoritarian states, it appears that political "purity" is a major factor. This paper directs attention to occupation as an indicator of social status in the American scene. Change of occupation will be taken as an indicator of social mobility. The use of occupation as the sole indicator of social status is justified to a degree by such a finding as that of Warner that placements of individuals based on it are correlated strongly (r equals 0.91) with evaluated participation placements derived from interviews within communities. More recently, Kahl and Davis in a systematic test of a variety of social placement techniques show that occupation is one of the best referents by which to estimate position.' Once position is specified, there are several points of reference from which social mobility may be assessed. Change of status might be determined with respect to such "bench marks" as father's status, status of siblings, or of high school peer associates, or of present work group associates. They might be assessed even against some fantasy group with which a person desires to be compared. Change may also be considered along the individual's own adult work history. In this latter instance it is necessary to account not only for changes in absolute level of attainments, but also for time rates of the changes, for average rates of increased attainment with maturity in the population, and the coordination of these with broad economic trends in the society as a whole. In this paper we will deal with changes vis-a-vis familial reference groups and will consider other of these questions in future reports. A reference group in Merton's sense is some body of persons with respect to whom an individual "Cmeasures") or may be expected to assess his own performance.2 The relativistic framework so implied is with little question the most scientifically appropriate one when attempting to treat a system of forces and their behavior resultants-as is the case in studies of social mobility. A structuralpositional analysis will not necessarily provide adequate delineation of social forces; and, it is true, the referential-relativistic one may not necessarily indicate relevant social structure. Studies coordinating both types of analysis are needed eventually to gain a more nearly complete grasp of the social matrix. The reference groups with which we shall deal are those of the subjects' fathers, and of their older and younger siblings. There appears to be considerable utility in considering the family of origin as a reference group, although this usage differs slightly from the membership and nonmembership distinction Merton has emphasized.3 The general hypothesis is that upward social mobility is associated with satisfaction to the individual, and that downward social mobility is associated with frustrations. This applies, of course, to groups of people on a statistical basis, rather than to any selected person. There are occasional individuals to whom a taste of success merely leads to an increased neurotic drive for further achievement, and conversely those who gain emotional satisfaction from perpetual failures. We assume these are sufficiently rare not to obscure the general trend hypothesized. The statement of this general hypothesis lead to * Paper read at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Society, 1955. 1 See, for example, W. Lloyd Warner, et al., Social Class in America (Chicago: Science Research Associates, 1949) esp. chap. 10; and Joseph A. Kahl and James A. Davis, "A Comparison of Indexes of SocioEconomic Status," American Sociological Review, XX (1955), 317-25. 2 Robert K. Merton and Alice S. Kitt, "Contributions to the Theory of Reference Group Behavior," in Continuities in Social Research, R. K. Merton and P. F. Lazarsfeld (eds.) (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1950). 3 Merton and Kitt, op. cit., esp. pp. 84-95.

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    Article . 1956 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: Karl E. Bauman;

    Sociologists have given several explanations for the relationship between status inconsistency and various dependent variables, but they have not reported empirical tests of their speculations. The present paper reports research which was designed to find out if unsatisfactory social interaction-a variable frequently used to explain the relationships-is related to status inconsistency, and to also explore the relationship between inconsistency and community dissatisfaction, a dependent variable which has not been included in inconsistency research. Contrary to what is hypothesized, middle-class persons in the study sample who have inconsistent statuses are more likely to experience satisfactory social interaction and community satisfaction than individuals with consistent statuses. This finding is interpreted by inferring that the unique nature of the study population determines the influence of inconsistency upon behavior. Persons with high occupation and low education or income are most satisfied with their interaction and community. T he concept of status consistency recognizes that a society has a plurality of status hierarchies and that all members are assigned a rank in each of the hierarchies. A person is said to have consistent statuses when all of his statuses are on the same horizontal level. Conversely, when one or more of a person's statuses are not on the same level he is said to be characterized by status inconsistency. The major significance of this variable is that persons with inconsistent statuses are more likely than those with consistent statuses to exhibit such behaviors as psychological stress, extreme political attitudes and actions, and social isolation.1 Various interpretations have been offered to explain how inconsistency influences individuals to behave in these ways but the speculations have not been subjected to direct test. Empirical analyses of the explanations are imperative for the development of a theory of social stratification. The purpose of this paper is to report research which was designed to test the reasoning often * The data reported in this paper are from a larger study which was sponsored by grant NsG-508 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to the Institute for Social Research of the Florida State University. I am indebted to Charles M. Grigg for allowing me to participate in all the phases of that project, and to Gerhard E. Lenski for providing many valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper. 1 Studies showing a relationship between inconsistency and these three dependent variables are: (1) Elton F. Jackson, "Status Consistency and Symptoms of Stress," American Sociological Review, 27 (August 1962), pp. 469-480; and Elton F. Jackson and Peter J. Burke, "Status and Symptoms of Stress: Additive and Interaction Effects," American Sociological Review, 30 (August 1965), pp. 556-564; (2) James A. Geschwender, "Status Consistency, Cognitive Dissonance, and Social Change," unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Michigan State University, 1962; Irwin W. Goffman, "Status Consistency and Preference for Change in Power Distribution," Amiericacn Sociological Review, 22 (June 1957), pp. 275-281; Gerhard E. Lenski, "Status Crystallization: A Non-Vertical Dimension of Social Status," American Sociological Review, 19 (August 1954), pp. 405-413; Gary B. Rush, "Status Consistency and Right-Wing Extremism," American Sociological Review, 32 (February 1967), pp. 86-92; and David R. Schmitt, "An Attitudinal Correlate of the Status Congruency of Married Women," Social Forces, 44 (December 1965), pp. 190-195; (3) Geschwender, op. cit.; and Gerhard E. Lenski, "Social Participation and Status Crystallization," American Sociological Review, 21 (August 1956), pp. 458-464. This content downloaded from 207.46.13.103 on Thu, 20 Oct 2016 03:59:28 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms

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    Article . 1968 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1968 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: James Tamplin Laing;
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    Article . 1938 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1938 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: Edward G. Stockwell;
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    Article . 1963 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1963 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: Edwin D. Lawson; Walter E. Boek;
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    Article . 1960 . Peer-reviewed
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      Article . 1960 . Peer-reviewed
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  • Authors: Alan C. Kerckhoff; A. Jackson;

    We examine the effects of high school curriculum and vocational training on occupational outcomes among young men 25-29 and 29-33 years of age. The effects on both occupational status and occupational routines (concern with people, data, and things) are reported. Returns to years of schooling tend to be greater for whites, but returns to curriculum and vocational training are generally greater for blacks. The major exceptions to stronger effects of vocational training for blacks involve skilled manual training and occupations dealing with things. The findings are interpreted as indicating that (a) the usual status attainment model has inadequately specified the relationship between educational and occupational attainment, (b) the common conclusion that black occupational outcomes are less predictable than those of whites is unwarranted, and (c) curriculuim and vocational training have such strong effects for blacks because they help move blacks into peopleand data-processing occupations. The great outpouring of publications dealing with the status attainment process which followed Blau and Duncan's innovative analysis has been primarily concerned with elaborating the conceptualization of the antecedent processes leading up to levels of educational attainment and the specification of patterns of attainment experienced by various subgroups of the population-male/female, black/white differences, etc. More recently, appraisals of this work have focused on either the structural constraints within which the processes occur (Beck et al.) or the fact that occupational outcomes have been defined too narrowly. Although the core of this body of research has used either a socioeconomic scale or a prestige scale of occupations, more recently attention has been given to other ways to conceptualize occupational outcomes (Mortimer; Wilson; Wright and Perrone). As a Partial support for this research was provided by the Biomedical Research Support Grant from Duke University. We are grateful to Richard T. Campbell for his advice and comments. ? 1982 The University of North Carolina Press. 0037-7732/82/010024-45$02.20

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    Article . 1982 . Peer-reviewed
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