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Class, Occupation, and Inequality in Job Rewards


Kalleberg, Arne L. & Griffin, Larry J. (1980). Class, Occupation, and Inequality in Job Rewards. American Journal of Sociology, 85(4), 731-768.


This paper argues that within an economic system class and occupation are conceptually distinct positions. Class refers to control by some positions over others in a production system, and occupation refers to the functional differentiation of positions in a technical division of labor. The effects of measures of class and occupation on both economic and noneconomic rewards are analyzed using data obtained from two national samples of individuals. Class and occupation are found to have independent effects on both types of job rewards, and the commonly used measures of occupational position (Duncan's socioeconomic index [SEI], complexity/skill requirements of the occupation) do not adequately explain inequalities in job rewards associated with occupation. The implications of this analysis for the study of positional inequality in general are indicated.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Sociology


Kalleberg, Arne L.
Griffin, Larry J.