Chapter

The Occupational System

Elvin Hatch

in Respectable Lives

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 1991 | ISBN: 9780520074729
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520911437 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520074729.003.0003
The Occupational System

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This chapter describes the “shape” of the local occupational system, and the configuration that appears when the occupations in the district are viewed as a whole. The principal distinction among farm types is between intensive and extensive operations, or between farms and runs. The chapter then clarifies that the egalitarian emphasis in the community does not preclude the manifestation of hierarchy. Wealth is both a material reward that is desirable in itself and a marker of social position that is desirable for its symbolic value. Furthermore, the occupations considered are business owners, salary earners, and professionals. A final, relatively fixed point in the system of occupational standing establishes the very bottom of the hierarchy: unemployed, no-hopers, dodgers, or those on the dole. Local people who are not themselves no-hopers see a clear break between proper working people and individuals in this lowest social stratum.

Keywords: local occupational system; farms; runs; egalitarian; community; business owners; salary earners; professionals; no-hopers

Chapter.  10781 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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