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ERIC Number: ED039924
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Oct-29
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Cognitive Aspects of Children's Occupational Prestige Rankings.
Fisher, Virginia Lee
Sixty children of varied socioeconomic backgrounds who ranged in age from first through eighth grade were shown photographs of workers in different occupations, asked to rate jobs according to prestige and to give reasons for their rankings. These reasons were then analyzed for level of cognitive functioning manifested. Reasons were seen as representing one of three levels: (1) explanation, (2) comparison-functional description, and (3) labeling, fiat, or "don't know." The children's actual rankings were checked for accuracy by comparing them to NORC occupational prestige rankings. Accuracy tended to increase with age and girls were somewhat more accurate than boys, but neither of these trends was significant. The cognitive level of children's reasons for rankings improved with grade level. Children were most accurate in ranking low-prestige occupations and least accurate with middle-prestige occupations. Young children were very accurate in ranking low-prestige jobs, but they were usually unable to give any explanation for their ranking. These results suggest that children learn occupational prestige directly rather than developing a rational schema from which subjective prestige rankings could be derived. Thus, parents apparently transmit to children traditional status distinctions before children are even old enough to understand why. (MH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Missouri Univ., Columbia.