Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Stacey M.B. Wieland

Second Advisor

Dr. Leigh Arden Ford

Third Advisor

Dr. Leah Omilion-Hodges


Socialization, early jobs, organizational, communication, anticipatory

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Through early work experiences, often in part-time jobs, young people come to learn about the working world. This learning process is often considered a source of anticipatory socialization, or an experience that comes before real work and serves to socialize individuals into particular organizations and vocations. In contrast, this study seeks to understand how individuals are socialized into broader meanings of work through early, part-time work experiences by studying a Youth Employment Program (YEP) aimed at providing hands-on job opportunities for at-risk youth. Drawing upon in-depth interviews, I analyze what young people learned about work and how such learning occurred. This study demonstrates that work socialization is about so much more than work and working as young people in YEP developed in significant ways both as individuals and as workers.