Data derived from a national sample survey reveal that education, main earner's occupation,
and family income have independent effects upon class identification. Multiple regresion
analyses reveal that ownership of stocks and bonds in private companies, savings
bonds, and rental property makes no significant contribution to the explanation of
class identification once education, occupation, and income have been controlled.
These same socioeconomic variables also account for the zero-order associations of
race and union membership with class identification. However, indexes based upon
the occupational levels of one's friends, neighbors, and relatives make independent
contributions to one's class identification which are no less important than those
made by education, occupation, and income. Thus, class identification rests not only
upon one's own location in the status structure but upon the socioeconomic level
of one's acquaintances.