The American Class Structure

By Joseph A. Kahl | Go to book overview
we can ask each man to tell us at which level he usually places himself in terms of one of these few types of models. Marx and Warner and Centers all insist that there is only one true model, and force the respondents' answers into it. But all the models are partially true, therefore we must go back to the public with more flexible questions which allow the respondents to choose both the model and their position within it. When we do, and when we get more adequate measures of the several components of ideology, we will get higher correlations between "objective" attributes of status position, "subjective" perception thereof, and ideological beliefs.
REFERENCES
Time, May 16, 1955.
For an exploratory study that shows the several categories people use to identify with, see Herbert Hyman, "The Psychology of Social Status," Archives of Psychology, 1942. The general problem is brilliantly discussed in Robert K. Merton and Alice S. Kitt, "Contributions to the Theory of Reference Group Behavior," in Continuities in Social Research, Robert K. Merton and Paul F. Lazarsfeld, eds. (Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1950).
Richard Centers, The Psychology of Social Classes (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949), pp. 28-29. Centers gives references to the main empirical studies which preceded his. See also Paul F. Lazarsfeld et al., The People's Choice ( New York: Columbia University Press, 2nd ed., 1949), which studies the vote of one county in the 1940 elections; Bernard R. Berelsonet al., Voting: A Study of Opinion Formation during a Presidential Campaign ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955); and Arthur Kornhauser, "Public Opinion and Social Class," American Journal of Sociology, LV ( January, 1950), 333-45, which is a discussion of the logical and methodological difficulties in research, and a summary of the findings to date. There is a sharp critique of Centers in H. J. Eysenck, "Social Attitude and Social Class," British Journal of Sociology, I ( March, 1950), 56-66.
Centers, The Psychology of Social Classes, p. 78.
Ibid., p. 86.
Richard Centers, "Toward an Articulation of Two Approaches to Social Class Phenomena, Parts I and II," International Journal of Opinion and Attitude Research, IV (Winter, 1950-51), 499-514, V (Summer, 1951), 159-78.
Herman M. Case, "Guttman Scaling Applied to Centers' Conservatism- Radicalism Battery," American Journal of Sociology, LVIII ( May, 1953), 556-63. Davis and I (see below) got similar negative results with simplified versions of the Centers questions in our Cambridge survey

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The American Class Structure
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xiii
  • Tables xvii
  • Figures xviii
  • I - The Dimensions of Class 1
  • References 16
  • II - Position and Prestige 19
  • Conclusions 47
  • References 49
  • III - Occupational Prestige and Social Change 53
  • Conclusions 85
  • References 87
  • IV - Income, Wealth, and Style of Life 91
  • Conclusions 119
  • References 122
  • V - The Web of Interaction 127
  • Conclusions 153
  • References 154
  • VI - Class Consciousness and Political Ideology 157
  • Conclusions 180
  • References 181
  • VII - Classes as Ideal Types: Emergent Values 184
  • Conclusions 215
  • References 218
  • VIII - Ethnic and Race Barriers 221
  • Conclusions 247
  • References 248
  • IX - Succession and Mobility: the Occupational Base 251
  • Conclusions 271
  • References 272
  • X - Succession and Mobility: Motivation and Education 276
  • Conclusions 293
  • References 294
  • Index 301
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