The Impact of Community Prestige upon Personal Appraisals of Life Conditions: A Comparative Analysis

Authors


  • *The research on which this paper is based was supported by International Programs, and the School of Labor and Industrial Relations at Michigan State University. For comments on earlier drafts I would like to thank Professors William A. Faunce, John Jackson, Anton Zijderveld and the editorial readers of this journal.

Abstract

On a recolte des donnees sur une ville manufacturiere de Costa Rica, une communaute paysanne du Guatemala et un village rural de l'Etat du Michigan, dans le but d'examiner les relations qui existent entre les systemes de prestige de la communaute et revolution personnelle des habitants de leur situation dans la vie. La liaison entre ces deux variables est faible dans ces trois unites sociales. Cependant, les criteres utilises dans chaque communaute pour refleter les deux systemes devaluation comportent des differences importantes. S'ap-puyant sur ces resultats, l'auteur suggere que le prestige communautaire et 1'evaluation personnelle de sa situation dans la vie subissent independamment l'influence de quatre attributs structurels majeurs. C'est en tenant compte de la configuration de ces attributs structurels que Ton en vient a saisir la nature des liens qui existent entre ces deux systemes dévaluation.

Data from a Costa Rican factory town, a Guatemalan peasant community and a Michigan rural community are utilized to inquire into the relationship between community prestige systems and individuals' private appraisals of their conditions in life. In each community, little relationship exists between these two variables. However, there are important variations among the communities in the criteria involved in both systems of evaluation. On the basis of these findings it is suggested that community prestige and personal appraisals of life conditions are independently influenced by four key structural attributes. The relationship between the two evaluative systems is dependent upon the configuration of the structural attributes.

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