The American Economy-Attitudes and Opinions

By A. Dudley Ward | Go to book overview

8
Status

The importance of individual and family status, as a value affecting people's economic as well as other activities, emerged in both the individual interviews and the group discussions -- times directly, more often indirectly. It was apparent in the responses and discussions regarding incentives to work, satisfaction and dissatisfaction with jobs, objectives in work, and security. And some direct questions also brought out various phases of this concern for good standing among one's associates and in one's community, and no less for such a job, such associates, and such a community environment as were favorable to the pattern of living desired for one's self and family.


1. THE INDIVIDUAL INTERVIEWS

It appeared in the individual interviews that "better housing" was considered an important objective -- only for reasons of comfort but also as a factor of status. And home ownership, emphasized as an element of security, was also recognized as affecting standing in the community. These factors of status, though others emerge in various chapters, were so much emphasized that we report them separately here.

We have noted that the "sample" interviewed was divided between Chicago (357) and six communities in northwestern Illinois (146). The occupations represented have been listed (p. xvi). As to race, in the Chicago sample 278 were white, 61 Negro, 18 unclassified; in the outside area all were white. In respect to housing, 267 of the total were renting, 201 were buying (85 paid up), and the rest unclassified; so about 40 per cent were home owners (outright or not yet clear).

The number of rooms in the quarters occupied by the family units (rented and owned) was seven rooms or more for 16 per cent of the families, four to six rooms for 69 per cent, three or less rooms for 15 per cent. The number of persons in the family units ranged as follows: two persons, 18 per cent; three, 30 per cent; four, 27 per

-80-

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The American Economy-Attitudes and Opinions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgment v
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Introduction xv
  • Part I - Work 1
  • 1 - Why People Work 5
  • 2 - Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction in Work 16
  • 3 - Labor Unions 30
  • 4 - The Use of Leisure 38
  • 5 - Retirement from Work 51
  • 6 - The Training of Youth 54
  • 7 - Security 66
  • 8 - Status 80
  • Part II - Moral Standards and Problems 91
  • 9 - A Complex of Standards 93
  • 10 - Honesty as a Standard 104
  • 11 - The Standard of Justice 126
  • 12 - Etkcs of Spending 133
  • 13 - Freedom 144
  • 14 - Influence of Religion and the Churches 154
  • 15 - Evaluation 163
  • Appendix 1 - The Interviewers' Questionnaire 173
  • Appendix 2 - The Discussion Groups 182
  • Index 197
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