PROFESSIONAL OCCUPATIONS AND STATUS: A sociological study of professional occupations, status and trust
Occupation is the most important dimension behind social classes, closely connected with education and salary as well as status and prestige. The sociology of professions, since its classical period, has been related more or less closely to studies of class and status. This paper depicts some of these issues from the perspective of occupations and professions perceived as status groups. The main objective of the research project presented in this paper is to study how a number of occupations are perceived concerning social status, requirements, conditions and rewards, and how these perceptions are distributed regarding positions (sex, age, education and class). Data are based on a national survey among the Swedish population 16–74 years of age as distributed in 2002. This paper examines in particular some results on the rank order of Swedish professional occupations compared with occupations in general and with American data. The main results demonstrate once again a very strong and replicated status hierarchy of occupations – results remaining in different sex and age groups, and internationally comparable. Education and class correlate with higher and lower status estimation, respectively. Professional occupations are ascribed considerably higher status than other occupations, as expected. There is, however, a great span between physicians in the first place and librarians in the last. Specific properties of importance are that high salary was high, and long education was low, on the list of general important properties for status. There is a fairly low correspondence between status and trust in professionals and professional occupations.
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Svensson, Lennart G.