Document Type


Date of Award



Socialization, Social status, Economic status, High school students, Social conditions

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Richard A. Rehberg

Second Advisor

James A. Geschwender

Third Advisor

John T. Flint


The Bowles-Gintis thesis that the structure of social relations (i.e., the system of rights, responsibilities, duties and rewards that govern the interaction of all individuals involved in organized productive activity) of the workplace is replicated in the school is investigated. Several analytical and empirical problems are presented by this thesis. Among these problems are: (1) a consumption interpretation which challenges the production explanation for the isomorphism; (2) the uncertain impact of schooling on noncognitive characteristics of students; (3) the increasingly maladaptive role of schooling in relation to the needs of production; and (4) the presence of contradictory data compounded by the absence of a data base adequate for addressing the hypothesized correspondence. In view of this latter deficiency, the extent that classroom socialization of students anticipates their occupational role performance is explored. With track assignment as the independent variable and teacher socialization of students as the dependent variable, it is hypothesized that teachers emphasize occupationally relevant student attributes and behaviors. This hypothesis is tested with data from a 35-minute, 113-item questionnaire completed by 84 percent of the population of English and Social Studies teachers at three high schools, most of whom teach both college and noncollege preparatory students. Teachers are found to emphasize occupationally relevant characteristics, but not on the basis of track. Rather, teachers report differential emphasis of work related characteristics on the basis of their beliefs about the probable occupations of the students they teach.