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Class and Conformity: A Study in Values

Class and Conformity: A Study in Values

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┬ácomplexity 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.