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ERIC Number: ED120284
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Structural Change and the Disadvantaged. An Empirical Test of Culture of Poverty/Situational Theories of Hard-Core Work Behavior.
Davidson, Leonard; Krackhardt, David
The purpose of this study is to test the culture of poverty explanation of the work behavior of the "hard core unemployed" against situational explanations by examining the reactions of trainees to two naturally occurring structural changes in a minority employment program. Firstly, program structure improvements over a five-year period were found to be associated with radical improvements in male trainee performance; trainee poPulation characteristics did not change during the period. Secondly, during one year of participant observation analysis, systematic changes in placement opportunity and staff supportiveness were also associated with significant changes in trainee behavior. It is concluded that trainee reactions to extreme changes in the program structure were closely tied to situational realities. These findings provide evidence that, in regard to the world of work, the impact of the minority individual's personality has been over stated and misunderstood in the culture of poverty literature. Rather than viewing attitudinal and motivational states as permanent parts of the individual's personality, their adaptive nature should be emphasized. If the motivational patterns of employees are to be understood, a closer look must be taken at the employee's work environment. both the social and techno-economic environment had to be viewed as worthwhile or the trainees in this study would significantly limit their effort. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American sociological Association (San Francisco, California, August 1975); Occasional light print