Human Organization Research: Field Relations and Techniques

By Richard N. Adams; Jack J. Preiss | Go to book overview
Jamaican stratification research. Here it was found that the prestige-rating-technique data furnished a much better prediction of the patterning of social friendships in the community than did occupational data -- even though the usual high correlation was obtained between the two stratification variables.31 These findings, however, should be interpreted with caution. They may only reflect the greater cross-cultural flexibility of the rating procedure. While this is no minor consideration, and it may be argued that one asset of the technique is that it is not culture bound, nevertheless this would, if true, beg the main question at hand.As the very paucity of the evidence presented here indicates, much more work needs to be done before any final conclusions can be drawn about the utility of the prestige-rating technique. Furthermore, the contradictory results already obtained suggest quite clearly the necessity for including a wide, rather than a narrow, range of criterion variables in the tests that are conducted.
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
DUNCAN OTIS DUDLEY, and JAY W. ARTIS. Social Stratification in a Pennsylvania Rural Conununity. State College, Pa.: Pennsylvania Agricultural Experimentation Bull. 543, 1951.
--. "Some Problems of Stratification Research", Rural Sociology, Vol. XVI ( March, 1951), pp. 17-29.
ELLIS ROBERT A. "Social Stratification and Social Relationships: An Empirical Test of the Disjunctiveness of Social Class", American Sociological Review, Vol. XXII ( October, 1957), pp. 570-78.
GEE WILSON. "A Qualitative Study of Rural Depopulation in a Single Township: 1900-1930", American Journal of Sociology, Vol. XXXIX ( September, 1933), pp. 210-21.
____________________
31
Friendship data were obtained by having each of the 34 sample subjects stipulate the degree to which he or she was friendly with every other person in the sample. In this task, the respondents were given the five following choices: Don't Know, Very Friendly, Friendly, Neutral, or Unfriendly.

The friendship responses obtained were categorized in a number of different ways, but for the sake of brevity, we shall limit our present discussion to only three: (1) Mutual Friendships, where the respondent and sample subject both indicate being very friendly or friendly with each other. (2) Friendship Choice, where the respondent indicates being very friendly or friendly with the sample subject without necessarily having that choice reciprocated. (3) Neutral Choice, where the respondent indicates being neutral in his feelings toward the subject.

Rank order correlations computed between the social status of the subjects and the median social status of their friends in the sample yielded coefficients of .78, .62, and -- .87, respectively, when social status was estimated from the prestige-rating- technique data. When Hollingshead's occupational scale was used to estimate social status, significantly lower correlations of .43, .29, and -- .15 were obtained. That these differences cannot be completely attributed to the inappropriateness of using Hollingshead's occupational scale in a different cultural context is evidenced by the fact that a .81 correlation was initially found between occupational status and social status, as estimated from the prestige-rating technique.

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