Sociology Faculty Publications

Document Type



Using data from 1994-95 third-wave interviews, this study tests whether Kohn and Schooler's findings ( based on 1964 and 1974 interviews) that self-directed occupational conditions increase intellectual functioning and self-directed orientations hold when the respondents are 20 years older. Results confirm that even late in life self-directedness of work continues to affect intellectual functioning and self-directedness of orientation. These psychological characteristics, in turn, affect social-structural position in ways that increase disparities between the advantaged and disadvantaged. From a historical and societal perspective, the findings suggest that the occupational self-directedness of a society's workers may affect its social norms, values, and modes of production.

Publication Date


Publication Title

American Journal of Sociology


University of Chicago Press

Included in

Sociology Commons