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American Journal of Sociology

Опубликовано на портале: 23-12-2002
Edward O. Laumann, Richard Senter American Journal of Sociology. 1976.  Vol. 81. No. 6. P. 1304-1338. 
After briefly reviewing some general theoretical issues in analyzing systems of social inequality and stratification, we propose a typology of forms of class and status consciousness. A specific procedure employing subjective social distance scales is proposed as an empirical strategy for assessing different forms of status consciousness and exploring their implications for class consciousness and other political and social attitudes. To evaluate the empirical and theoretical utility of this strategy, we report a West German replication of an American study in which substantial evidence is found for a remarkable degree of cross-national similarity in the subjective social distance responses accorded occupations varying in prestige and socioeconomic status, regardless of the class position of the respondent. Some working- and middle-class persons did, indeed, prefer to interact with members of their own class rather than with persons in higher- (or lower-) status occupations; and this manifestation of corporate status consciousness appeared to be specifically linked to other political and social views consonant with such consciousness. But these were relatively minor, albeit systematic, departures from the general picture of prestige-or upward-oriented preferences for intimate interaction at all class levels-what we have called a competitive status consciousness that appeared to be pervasive among lower-status persons in both the American and the German communities studied. While the results can hardly be regarded as definitive, they help to clarify a number of issues in studying subjective consciousness of the class and status order and suggest the promise of further work employing the approach.