The re-standardization of a socio-economic measure based on public school children in Saskatchewan
Hooge, Gay Carole
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Cultural deprivation has been defined as "those aspects of middle class culture--such as education, books, formal language--from which these (culturally deprived) groups have not benefited" (Riesman, 1962, p.3). Riesman's estimate, based on the proportion of the population designated as lower class, indicates that one out of every three school children is culturally deprived (Riesman, 1962). This emphasis on social class as a cause of cultural deprivation is also made by Davis and Havighurst (1946, p.699) who state that "socio-economic status is believed to define and systematize different learning environments for children of different classes". These two excerpts from the literature reflect what is probably a wide spread concern in society, especially among those who are involved with problems of poverty, discrimination and illness. Given an equalitarian, ethical basis of social action, it is essential, from a research point of view, to document the relationship between various aspects of childhood environment (such as cultural deprivation, socio-economic status) and achievement (such as academic grades, social and personal adjustment). Before these relationships can be studied, however, it is necessary to deal with the methodological problem of developing adequate measures. Neff (1928, p. 732) has stated that we possess "no standard and carefully worked up measure of this variable" (socio-economic status). Past measures have been inadequate in that they have dealt almost exclusively with economic factors--a decidedly superficial and often inaccurate approach, especially in the day of "take-now-pay-later" plans. People of vastly different earning power now own many of the same luxury items. One can also cite examples of individuals who have made socially significant achievements, in spite of the fact that they came from economically poor homes. The purpose of this study is to develop a measure of socio-economic status which will be applicable to persons living in Saskatchewan.