Class and Conformity

A Study in Values

Melvin Kohn

Class and Conformity
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Melvin Kohn

2d edition
376 pages | © 1969, 1977
Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9780226450261 Published September 1989
First published in 1969 and augmented by the author with a new essay in 1977, Class and Conformity remains a model of sociological craftsmanship. Kohn's work marshals evidence from three studies to show a decided connection between social class and values. He emphasizes that occupation fosters either self-direction or conformity in people, depending upon the amount of freedom from supervision, the complexity of the task, and the variety of work that the job entails. The extent of parents' self-direction on the job further determines the value placed on self-direction for their children; thus, Kohn finds, is the most critical and pervasive factor distinguishing children raised in different socioeconomic classes.
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