Man, Work, and Society: A Reader in the Sociology of Occupations

By Sigmund Nosow; William H. Form | Go to book overview
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highly probable that the men represented in the sample have held many more directorships in corporations and executive positions in social agencies, hospitals, and universities than . . . indicated.
Everett C. Hughes, "The Institutional Office and the Person,"loc. cit., p. 411. Professor Hughes quotes a survey in New York City that showed that the governing boards of settlement houses in that city were made up of people with prestige in business and professional life. This pattern has also been traced in Warner's studies of Yankee City; see W. L. Warner and P. S. Lunt, The Social Life of a Modern Community, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1941.


William G. Dyer

From the time of the famous Hawthorne studies, more and more attention has been focused on the area of "human relations" in industry. Although it was noted in this pioneer work that production and morale were influenced by a number of human factors both on and off the job, the bulk of subsequent studies have focused on the worker's role in the work situation. Much less attention has been centered on the worker's roles outside the job. The purpose of this study is to investigate the activities of the worker in two social systems--namely the family and work situations--and analyze some of the influences these two systems have on each other.

Some studies, notably those of Friend and Haggard,1 Bettelheim and Sylvester,2 Bullock,3 and Aberle and Naegele,4 have pointed out the reciprocal influence of the worker's activities both on the job and in the home.

Theoretical Framework

In the interlocking of work and family social systems, the trend of social change is in the direction of moving away from a complete union of family and work systems (as would be true of the traditional farm family where the family is the work group) to a system where work and family activities are separated. These polar families may be constructed as typologies for purposes of analysis.5

In those families where the father is the only family member in the occupational structure, he is the point of juncture between the two social systems. In each system, which is defined in the Parsonian sense as being an organized system of normatively oriented action elements with its status-role components, value orientations, role expectations, and sanctions, the father occupies a central position.6 It should be noted that these are not the only social systems in which the father operates. At the same time he may also be a member of a labor union, lodge, etc., which complicates his interaction in any other system. For purposes of analysis the focus of this study is on the two above mentioned systems.

Within the work situation, the father may be oriented towards two


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Man, Work, and Society: A Reader in the Sociology of Occupations
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