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Dimensions of Social Stratification for Whites and Blacks

Stricker, Lawrence J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
African Americans, Caucasians, Factor Analysis, Field Studies, Indexes (Social), Racial Factors, Social Stratification, Toledo Study


225 White and 206 Black household heads in Toledo, Ohio, and surrounding suburban and rural areas were interviewed using a highly structured questionnaire to determine the major dimensions of social stratification for the two races. Secondary goals were a) to assess the correspondence between these dimensions and leading conceptualizations of stratification; b) to compare the dimensions for the two groups; and c) to identify the best measures of each dimension. Two sets of variables were used in the factor analysis, the first consisting of 59 basic variables of economic position, status, power, and class consciousness, and the second consisting of 85 supplementary variables. Separate first, second and third order factor analyses were performed for the two groups. Eighteen first order factors were identified for the White sample and 19 for the Black American sample. Thirteen White and 15 Black factors were interpretable. Five White and six Black factors matched (one White factor corresponded to two Black factors). The matched factors as well as certain non-matched White and Black factors, second and third order factors, correspondence of factors with conceptualizations, congruence with previous factors, correspondence between White and Black factors, measurement implications, and generalizability of the findings are discussed.

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