ERIC Number: ED221102
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Does Higher Education Reduce or Reproduce Social Class Differences? Schooling at Yale University, University of Connecticut, and University of New Haven, and Student Attitudes and Expectations Regarding Future Work.
Hoffnung, Robert J.; Sack, Allan L.
The issue of whether higher education reduces or reproduces structured social inequality was investigated by comparing the background, current educational experiences, and expectations regarding future work of freshmen and senior liberal arts students who attend upper, middle, and working class universities. Responses were received from 173 Yale University students, 179 University of Connecticut (U Conn) students, and 150 University of New Haven (UNH) students. The survey assessed family, educational, employment, and social class background. Students also evaluated the quality of their experiences at college and completed a 10-item Quality of Educational Life (QEL) Scale, along with questions designed to evaluate related aspects of university life, including living location and extracurricular activities. In addition a nine-item Quality of Future Work (QFW) Scale was completed, in which respondents described their future work situations in as much detail as possible. The data strongly confirm the view that the universities chosen serve student bodies from elite and nonelite family backgrounds, and that they also differ in the degree of self-direction and independence present in the occupational experiences of their fathers. While seniors reported greater leadership-oriented experience, the initial differences between the settings remained fairly constant over time, as inferred from cross-sectional data. Findings support the hypothesis that schooling tends to reproduce rather than to reduce (or increase) differences between student bodies and their orientations toward leadership and control in their future work. Questionnaire items and mean response scores are appended. (SW)
Descriptors: College Environment, College Freshmen, College Seniors, College Students, Comparative Analysis, Educational Background, Educational Benefits, Employment Experience, Family Characteristics, Higher Education, Individual Power, Leadership, Learning Experience, Locus of Control, Occupational Aspiration, Social Class, Socioeconomic Background, Student Adjustment, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Student College Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Elitism; University of Connecticut; University of New Haven CT; Yale University CT
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (New York, NY, April 1981).