CAMSIS scale

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The Cambridge scale of stratification was devised in the early 1970s and was redesigned in a more general form as the CAMSIS scale. It is based on the assumption that a continuous measure of social inequality is a better approach to social stratification than the categorical approaches used in the Goldthorpe class scheme, and the NS-SEC classification.

The scale is constructed from measures of similarity and difference between occupations, as reflected in the typical interaction patterns of their incumbents. Measures of social distance include friendship choices and inter-marriage, and these are complied into a frequency table. Originally constructed through the use of multi-dimensional scaling techniques, the scale is now derived from correspondence analysis. (The authors of the scale suggest that row-column association models may be more useful for refined analyses.) This is used to construct a social space in which the occupations can be represented. All occupations receive a score on a single dimension, the scores being standardized on a scale from 0 to 100 with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 15. The scale has been used in studies of social mobility and as a general measure of distance within a system of social stratification. The scale was first presented in A. Stewart, B. Blackburn, and K. Prandy, Social Stratification and Occupations (1980) and the more recent version has been discussed in Ken Prandy, ‘The Revised Cambridge Scale of Occupations’ (Sociology, 1990) and in Wendy Bottero and Ken Prandy, ‘Social Interaction, Distance, and Stratification’ (British Journal of Sociology, 2003).

http://www.camsis.stir.ac.uk/ The official site for the Cambridge Social Interaction and Stratification Scale.

Subjects: Sociology.

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