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Occupational Prestige

Individuals have repeatedly demonstrated an ability to rank occupations according to their prestige, a relative social standing in a society. Occupational prestige is one of the most empirically studied aspects of stratification structure in modern societies. Social stratification theories, however, differ in their views of the concept of prestige. Wegener points out that theories vary primarily in their suppositions of the foundation on which prestige is based, that is, achievement, esteem, honor, or charisma. Wegener also distinguishes two types of stratification theories, one that views prestige as a hierarchy of positions and the other as an attribute of socially closed groups.

By and large, stratification theories that emphasize order in society (e.g., functionalist theories) conceive prestige as an attribute of individuals or of individual social positions that form a hierarchy. Stratification theories that emphasize conflict (e.g., Weber) think of prestige as designating social aggregates...

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Macmillan
Occupational Prestige from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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