Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Stanley S. Robin

Second Advisor

Dr. Jim Petersen

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Wait

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis replicates and extends Kohn and associates' (Kohn, 1969; Kohn et al, 1986) research on the differing value orientations of the middle and working classes, self direction and conformity to authority, respectively. Using the findings that these values are reflected in child socialization, investigation was extended to those socially mobile from the working to middle class. Since parental resocialization of the mobile occurs over time, it is hypothesized that eldest children of the mobile will be socialized to working class values and successive children increasingly to middle class values. Examination of this process also informs about the class maintenance of the children of the mobile.

Questionnaire and telephone interviews were used to gather data from a sample (N = 425) of WMU students and their families. Variables were measured by variants of Kohn's instruments. Data failed to support Kohn's original conclusions. Descriptive differences among groups were found to support the general thesis and suggest further avenues of research.

Included in

Sociology Commons