Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Peter C. Pineo




The purpose of this research is to gain some insight into the mechanisms by which social status is transmitted from one generation to the next. The particular focus is on the impact of value elements in this process. The work builds on the research done by M. Kohn and associates on the relationship between class and values. A socialization model is posited, with the cultural transmission of values hypothesized as a key link in the transmission of social status. Data were collected from 400 teenagers and their parents in the Hamilton area. Interviews were conducted with the teens and questionnaires were used to collect information from the parents. Questions focused on factors influencing the teenager's occupational choice, the parents' occupational experience, and the values and attitudes held by the various respondents. An analysis of the data revealed the socialization model to be only partially relevant to status inheritance. The rates of value inheritance varied depending on the values considered. The causal ordering of the variables was ambiguous and there was some indication of the impact of allocation as opposed to socialization factors. There was evidence of feedback from the teen to parent in terms of the value elements considered. This analysis provides a clarification of the role of socialization factors, particularly certain value elements, in status inheritance. It suggests areas in which a socialization model could most fruitfully be supplemented with the inclusion of allocation factors.

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