PERSONAL ADJUSTMENT IN THE WORLD OF WORK
Social and cultural c limates create conditions which affect individuals in patterned ways. Theory holds that, given a certain social milieu, persons playing various culturally defined roles will take on certain personality attributes.1 It follows that particular types of social climates found in occupational life contribute to certain behavioral outcomes both on the job and in the wider community. "A man's work," says Hughes, "is one of the more important parts of his social identity, of his self; indeed, of his fate in the one life he has to live."2 An understanding of occupational life, then, is incomplete unless one understands the social-psychological outcomes of occupational role performance.
When we examine the conditions of work, vast differences among occupations are immediately apparent. Just what effects these differences have on personality remains a subject for extensive empirical research. Certainly a work climate placing great physical pressures on individuals would be expected to create different personality syndromes from one putting great intellectual pressures on the person. An environment in which the individual is in continuous contact with others would generate different pressures on the person than would an environment of isolation. The effects of noise, smell, lighting, movement, and heat are physical, to be sure, but they exert influences on personality. Certainly some jobs are more interesting, others are more emotionally satisfying. Some call for creative energies, others are brutalizing.
It is possible to present in broad outline some of the theoretically crucial variables in the culture of occupations which affect the social- psychological reactions of the individual, his concepts of self and others, and interpersonal relationships on the job and within the larger community. These variables present overlapping categories. One category would be based on the degree of isolation or interaction of the work situation. Some isolation may be both physical and social--like that of