ERIC Number: ED271562
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct-18
Reference Count: 0
Authority Relations at School and Work: A Case Study of Office Education.
Valli, Linda R.
A study examined the reproduction of authority relations in a cooperative office education program at an urban, primarily working-class high school in a midwestern city. The subjects of the case study were 16 current program enrollees, 17 program alumnae, and a female teacher who described herself as a pro-union feminist. Study participants, all female, were interviewed concerning their family backgrounds and influences, experiences during the cooperative office education program, and their working life and perspective after high school. It appeared that both the school and workplaces engage in practices to transmit a work ethic and docile respect for authority and to accommodate young workers to their place in a hierarchical division of labor. The young workers studied often exhibited loyal, dependable, and docile behavior even while they were quite critical of the work behavior of their superordinates. Those individuals studied appeared to be good workers not so much because they had internalized the expectations of their employers and the lessons of the school, but because they had their own psychological and cultural reasons for producing high-caliber work. Although the main process at work in their lives was one of social and cultural reproduction rather than transformation, it is argued that their insights and actions did more than recreate oppressive structures and relations. These individuals worked hard because they experienced work as: (1) helping their supervisors (whom they liked); or (2) helping the consumer (with whom they identified). (MN)
Descriptors: Adoption (Ideas), Attitude Change, Case Studies, Cooperative Education, Cooperative Programs, Education Work Relationship, Employer Employee Relationship, Family Characteristics, Family Influence, Followup Studies, Graduate Surveys, High Schools, Office Occupations Education, Outcomes of Education, Power Structure, Social Structure, Student Attitudes, Teacher Student Relationship, Work Attitudes, Work Environment
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A