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Whose job is it? A mixed methods analysis of occupational stereotyping and occupational ranking in the new economy

Gary K Perry, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This dissertation explores—using an intersectionist perspective—how a representative sample of college undergraduates engages in the processes of occupational stereotyping and occupational ranking in the new economy. This study extends existing scholarship in the areas of occupational stereotyping and occupational prestige-ranking by: (1) exploring these social-psychological processes in the new economy, (2) using an intersectionist framework to explore these multidimensional phenomena, and (3) employing an explanatory, sequential mixed methods design. ^ In the first phase of this study, I collected survey data regarding how a representative sample of undergraduates rank-ordered 15 U.S., civilian occupations. It was concluded from this phase of the study that these undergraduates—regardless of their race-sex statuses—share a similar perception of the hierarchical nature of today's labor market. However, the four race-sex subgroups were more inclined to disagree about how similar and dissimilar the occupations are. After uncovering how the undergraduates ranked occupations in today's economy, the survey also compared the probabilities for each race-sex subgroup linking different groups of workers with different types of occupations. Data show that the undergraduates—across the four race-sex subgroups—perceive more privileged groups of workers (i.e., white, upper-class males) as being most likely to be employed in more desirable occupations, while less privileged groups of workers (i.e., racial-ethnic minorities, lower-class women and some men) as being most likely to be employed in less desirable occupations. Of the four race-sex subgroups, the data report that female undergraduates—especially racial-ethnic minority females—were less conventional in their occupational stereotypes. In the third and final phase of this study, I performed a collective, qualitative case study with a subset of the research population. Data for the case study were collected from a series of in-depth focus group interviews. These data allow us to see how the undergraduates' lived experiences, their families, and the media all influenced how and why they engage in the processes of occupational stereotyping and occupational ranking in today's economy. ^

Subject Area

Sociology, General

Recommended Citation

Perry, Gary K, "Whose job is it? A mixed methods analysis of occupational stereotyping and occupational ranking in the new economy" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3186873.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3186873

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