The American Economy-Attitudes and Opinions

By A. Dudley Ward | Go to book overview

6
The Training of Youth

At the other end of the scale from retirement is initiation. What training does youth need for future work -- and for all future activities? What home and community environment? What opening of opportunity? The present generation of adults has no more important task than the rearing of those who will make up the next generation. It involves the work of the currently employed and their attitudes toward work, their provision for security, their regard for status, their use of leisure, their moral and ethical standards, and in general the civilization which will become the heritage of the youth of today.

This broad relationship and responsibility was taken into account in both the individual interviews and the discussion groups. It would have intruded into discussion of nearly every topic if it had not been specifically suggested in relation to it. It is worth while to bring together here what has emerged in this regard in connection with the previous chapters and in other phases of the study.


1. THE INDIVIDUAL INTERVIEWS

In the responses to the question, "Why do you work?" the major incentive was found to be the earning of income to meet the needs and desires of the workers and their dependents that require money for satisfaction. The support and education of children, present and future, was implicit.

It was assumed that children below high school age would not be permitted to take up work for pay. This is forbidden by law in most states-- except that out of school hours certain types of work are allowed. But a question was asked whether or not it was good for high school pupils to earn money. About 71 per cent thought it was; 22 per cent agreed, with such qualifications as "if it does not interfere with schoolwork," "if they do not earn too much" or "throw money away or spend it on harmful things." Only 7 per cent said it was a bad practice.

Among the favorable reasons given were that "it teaches them the

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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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