Upward Mobility and Career Value Orientation1 An Empirical test of The Embourgeoisement Thesis FARLEY S. BRATHWAITE University of the West Indies, Trinidad, West Indies THE QUESTION, what happens at the level of values and attitudes to those people in the stratification system who experience upward occupational mobility is increasingly becoming a concern of stratification and mobility research. This problem was first formulated in Merton's application of reference group theory to the problem of social mobility. "Reference group theory suggest that the potentially upward mobile usually reveal anti- cipatory socialization, that is, they absorb the norms and behaviour traits of the higher strata (to which they aspire but do not belong) long before they have actually changed their social position."2 However, the application of reference group theory to a study of value changes resulting from upward social mobility deals with the potentially upwardly mobile but does not tell us much about the people who are actually upwardly mobile. On the other hand, the embourgeoisement thesis, which is essentially an application of reference group theory has attempted to examine the value changes which come about as a result of actual social mobility. This thesis3 developed in opposition to Marx's postulation
International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1976
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