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Status Attainment Processes

Archibald O. Haller and Alejandro Portes
Sociology of Education
Vol. 46, No. 1 (Winter, 1973), pp. 51-91
DOI: 10.2307/2112205
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2112205
Page Count: 41
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Status Attainment Processes
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Abstract

Recent research on stratification has moved away from traditional concerns with description of mobility rates and toward explanation of the processes by which educational and occupational positions are attained. This paper presents and compares the two main theoretical models emerging from this line of research. The Blau-Duncan and Wisconsin models of status attainment are similar in the causal ordering of positional variables and yield similar empirical estimates of paths of influence, despite being based on different samples. The main focus of the Blau-Duncan model is on the structure of status transmission while the Wisconsin model focuses on social psychological dynamics mediating interpersonal influences on individual attainment. Different aspects of this mediation are discussed on the basis of completed Wisconsin research. Practical implications of the two attainment models are examined. A paradigm for future research in this area is presented.

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