Occupational prestige in the collective conscience

Vered Kraus, E. O. Schild, R. W. Obert Hodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Occupational prestige is typcially assessed by asking respondents to evaluate occupations along an arbitrary ordered dimension. Here a sample of 463 urban Israelis were asked merely to sort occupations according to their similarity. Respondents were left free to make as many occupational clusters as they wanted and to use whatever criteria of similarity they chose. By multidimensional scaling of similarity matrices constructed from these data, we show that the cognitive space into which urban Israelis organize occupations is dominated by a single dimension which proves consistent across meaningful subgroups of the population. This dimension is also highly correlated with an experimentally independent measure of occupational prestige, thus establishing that occupational prestige is rooted, not only in sociological imagination, but in the collective conscience as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-918
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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