The purpose of this study is to explore feelings of alienation and satisfaction in the modern work force, correlating those feelings with social class, gender, and race. This study suggests that the lower class, Blacks, and women experience higher rates of alienation and dissatisfaction in the job setting. This study also focused on the changing structure of society causing not only the lower class but also the middle class to become increasingly alienated in the work force. I tested these hypotheses by using General Social Survey data from the year 1994. Included in the independent variables were occupation, race, sex, income, prestige, and degree. Both an alienation and a satisfaction scale were constructed out of a comilation of variables and were used as the dependent variables. Results of the cross tabulations showed that the relationships between alienation and social class, race, and gender were all highly significant, confirming the stated hypotheses. Findings from a multiple regression test revealed that race and occupational prestige were the best predictors of alienation. Although satisfaction was used in many previous studies as the dependent variable, the independent variables indicated no significant relationships when cross tabulated with satisfaction. The satisfaction variable was found to be an unreliable scale. Future research is suggested, focusing on a greater variety of independent variables such as structural relationships, pace of the job at hand, and worker's involvement in decision-making process. I think these added variables would give the research high validity and tap more feelings of alienation in the work force.


Blair, Robert


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1997 Stephanie R. Viti