What happens to the total overall rankings if classes are combined? This combination allows us to look at values rankings (see Table 4.10). It appears that the remarks fall into about three main groups. The highest groups, work, mobility, status, and independence, are mentioned by at least 30 percent of the respondents. In a middle group is one value arena, moral, mentioned by an average of 13.5 percent of respondents.
Last are the value arenas of integrity and ascription, with very low proportions of mentions. This overall ranking is similar to the rankings of each of the lowest classes, but far from identical. The perceptions toward those at the bottom, whether in the lowest or second-lowest position, have some very important differences.
People appear to think about both lower classes in the same terms, and with similar frameworks. The way these terms are applied, however, and the attribution of certain characteristics to one class but not to the other are important. In thinking about the two classes, values themselves do not disappear but merely shift in application. It is this configuration which becomes the pattern of culture, either of a particular group or with respect to a particular group. The configurational shift within the same value framework is the key element.
What these results suggest is that welfare has two meanings to Americans: dominant and subdominant, negative and less negative. The dominant nega-
Overall Average Rankings of Value Characteristics of the Two Lowest Classes (200 Respondents, Boston and Kansas City, 1971)
|Lowest and Second-Lowest Value Characteristics||Percentage Mentioned|
|Note: Moral Values score is 27 percent if the mentions of "fault" are added together, rather|