The American Class Structure

By Joseph A. Kahl | Go to book overview

X
Succession and Mobility: Motivation and Education

MEN OF MY OWN AGE GROUP (AMONG THE EXECUTIVES), I WOULD SAY THAT ABOUT FIFTY-FIFTY ARE COLLEGE OR NON- COLLEGE. THE MEN IN THE AGE GROUP STARTING OUT NOW ARE PROBABLY NINETY PER CENT COLLEGE. . . . IT'S THE ATTITUDE OF TOP MANAGEMENT; THEY HAVE FELT, OR PERHAPS LEARNED, OVER THE YEARS, THAT FROM A DOLLARS AND CENTS STANDPOINT IT IS AN ASSET TO THE COMPANY, FOR THE COLLEGE-TRAINED MAN IS A BETTER RISK FOR PROMOTION AND ADVANCEMENT. THE MORTALITY IS NOT AS HIGH. PROVIDING THEY HAVE A WELL- ROUNDED AND BALANCED PERSONALITY. THAT'S THE ESSENTIAL THING, OF COURSE. YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE A WELL-BALANCED MAN WHO GETS ALONG WITH PEOPLE, WHICH IS THE FIRST ESSENTIAL.

An Executive [1]

IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER it was learned that about two thirds of the men now working are in jobs at different levels from those of their fathers; they had to make some deliberate decisions about their careers and could not automatically follow along after their parents. But it was also pointed out above that in a modern industrial system it is difficult for a father to pass his job on to his son. Actually, the major influence of a family over a son is to shape his thinking in the direction of a certain level in the occupational hierarchy: to train him to aim toward a professional career, or extol the virtues of a skilled trade, or simply to assume that he is the type of fellow who will take any job that comes along, which usually means a semiskilled position that does not demand much specific training.

Every society has organized channels for training people in various ways and for placing them into positions according to their training. In farming societies a boy learns by working alongside his father. In circles dominated by military or religious orders, formal training outside the family prepares men for roles in the governing groups. In simple commercial societies, business acumen and accumulated capital

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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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