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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Rural Sociology

First Advisor

Donna J. Hess


Melvin Kohn's (1969) social class-parental values model was extended to incoming freshmen at the university level to investigate class differentiated values. Kohn found parents from various social class levels differed in terms of what characteristics they valued most for their children. Working class parents valued conformity while middle class parents valued self-direction. This study is an extension of Kohn ' s model, testing whether intergenerational transmission succeeds in producing children who hold differing values. This study also examined class differentiated educational expectations of incoming freshmen. The data set used in this study was rural in context. This provided an opportunity to further explore the applicability of Kohn's model to a rural population. The findings did not support Kohn's thesis. Instead, it was found that both non-farm/ranch middle class and working class freshmen and higher/lower status farm/ranch freshmen value conformity for themselves. Some contributing factors may include the rurality of the sample and increasing credentialism.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Kohn, Melvin L., 1928 -- Criticism and interpretation
College freshmen -- Attitudes
Parents -- Attitudes
Social classes




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