Wisconsin model

Wisconsin model

The Wisconsin model of socio-economic attainment is a tool developed to measure sociological and psychological characteristics that influence an individual's social mobility. The logistics of this model are primarily attributed to William H. Sewell, as well as his colleagues Archibald Haller and Alejandro Portes. The model receives its name based on the state, Wisconsin, in which a significant amount of research and analysis was completed. Unlike the previous research on this topic by Peter Blau and Otis Dudley Duncan, this model encompasses more than just educational and occupational factors and their effect on social mobility for American males.

Prior research

Before the framework for the Wisconsin model was constructed, Peter Blau and Otis Duncan established the first model of social mobility of its kind. However, the Blau-Duncan model was made up of only five predictors. These included father's education and occupation, the individual's education and first job, and the individual's job several years later.


Sewell and his counterparts aimed to contribute to the original model of status attainment by adding predictor variables. Because the results given by the Blau-Duncan model were based heavily on "structural factors as explanatory variables," the Wisconsin model was created to account for "social-psychological factors on educational and occupational attainment," which in turn, provided more accurate prediction.

Model variables

The model consisted of eight characteristics that most effectively linked socio-economic background and status attainment. These included occupational attainment, educational attainment, level of occupational aspiration, level of educational aspiration, the influence of significant others, academic performance, socioeconomic status, and mental ability.

Occupational attainment

Measured by Otis Dudley Duncan's socio-economic index of occupational status.

Educational attainment

Achieved by assigning a point value to certain levels of education that a subject has reached. In more recent studies using this model, educational attainment was classified into four levels: no post high school education, vocational school, college attendance, and a college degree. Earlier studies only classified subjects into those who went to college and those who did not.

Level of occupational aspiration

The subject's level is calculated by again categorizing Duncan's socioeconomic index scores in association with the occupation that the subject hope to hold in the future.

Level of educational aspiration

This is classified by the education level that each subject originally indicates that they hope to secure. Once again, some recent studies have assigned point values for three levels of desired education level: not continuing education after high school, vocational school, or college. Previous studies only categorized students based on which type institution they planned on attending prior to high school graduation.

ignificant others' influence

This variable can be determined by evaluating three perceptions of the subject including: parental and teacher encouragement to attend college, as well as friends' college plans.

Academic performance

This value is calculated by the subject's high school class rank.

ocioeconomic status

In the original study, socio-economic status was determined by a weighted combination of mother's and father's education, father's occupation, and average annual income from 1957-1960.

Mental ability

This variable is determined by the analysis of standardized testing. In previous studies, statewide test results for high school juniors and seniors are compared with state intelligence norms.

Effects of social psychology and stratification research on the process of status attainment

Interpersonal influence

Primarily, the significant others' direct influence on the subject specifically relates to one's educational and occupational aspirations and also educational attainment. Basically, this implies that those who are constantly involved with a subject (mother, father, friend) will have a direct outcome on what type of education the subject receives.

elf-reflexive action

Essentially, this implies that a person's status attainment can only be limited by one's own "perceived ability."

tatus aspirations

One's desire to attain status is an obligation for educational and occupational attainment.

Resulting hypotheses

Because this model organizes how status aspirations are formed and the way in which they influence "attainment-oriented behavior" the following conclusions can be drawn from the model:

"Status aspirations are complex forms of attitudes whose translation into attainment levels is affected by the context in which individuals attempt to enact them."

"Attitudes - including levels of aspiration - are formed and altered through two basic mechanisms; interpersonal influence, including reflexive adjustment of others' expectations, and including self-reflexion."

ee also

* Status attainment
* Social mobility
* Social stratification


* Haller, Archibald O. and Alejandro Portes (1973). [http://www.jstor.org/view/00380407/di975408/97p03333/0?currentResult=00380407%2bdi975408%2b97p03333%2b0%2c00&searchUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jstor.org%2Fsearch%2FArticleLocatorResults%3Fhp%3D25%26si%3D1%26ArticleTitle%3Dstatus%2Battainment%2Bprocesses%26Author%3D%26JournalTitle%3D%26ISSN%3D%26MonthSeason%3D%26Day%3D%26Year%3D%26vo%3D%26is%3D%26StartPage%3D "Status attainment processes"] . "Sociology of Education," 51-91.
* Hurst, Charles E (2007). "Social Inequality: Forms, Causes, Consequences" (Sixth Edition). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-205-48436-0.
* Sewell, William H., Archibald O. Haller and George W. Ohlendorf (1970). [http://www.jstor.org/view/00031224/di974278/97p0700i/0?currentResult=00031224%2bdi974278%2b97p0700i%2b0%2c00&searchUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jstor.org%2Fsearch%2FArticleLocatorResults%3Fhp%3D25%26si%3D1%26ArticleTitle%3Dthe%2Beducational%2Band%2Bearly%2Boccupational%2Bstatus%2Battainment%2Bprocess%26Author%3Dsewell%26JournalTitle%3D%26ISSN%3D%26MonthSeason%3D%26Day%3D%26Year%3D%26vo%3D%26is%3D%26StartPage%3D "The educational and early occupational status attainment process: replication and revision"] . "American Sociological Review," 1014-1027.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wisconsin Model — See status attainment …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Model Railroader — Categories Rail transport modeling Frequency Monthly Publisher Kalmbach Publishing First issue 1934 Country …   Wikipedia

  • Model Railroader — Pays  États Unis Langue Anglais Périodicité Mensuelle Genre Presse spécialisée, modélisme ferrovi …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wisconsin International Raceway — The Wisconsin International Raceway (WIR) is a stockcar racing oval and drag strip in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, USA. tockcar trackThe main track is a half mile D shaped paved oval. Inside the half mile track is a quarter mile paved conventional oval.… …   Wikipedia

  • Model car — For the term referring to delineation of (non model) car ranges, see car model. This Norev model car is a good miniature representation of a real Renault 4CV and would have been sold as a children s toy. A model car or toy car is a miniature… …   Wikipedia

  • Model Business Corporation Act — The Model Business Corporation Act (MBCA) is a model set of law prepared by the Committee on Corporate Laws of the Section of Business Law of the American Bar Association and is followed by twenty four states.[1] Contents 1 History 2 Use of Model …   Wikipedia

  • Logic model — The logic model is a general framework for describing work in an organization. Since work is often packaged in programs, it is often referred to as the program logic model. Definition In its simplest form, the logic model analyzes work into four… …   Wikipedia

  • List of people from Milwaukee, Wisconsin — This is a List of Milwaukeeans, notable citizens of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Contents 1 Born and raised in Milwaukee 2 Born elsewhere, raised in Milwaukee 3 Born in Milwaukee, raised elsewhere …   Wikipedia

  • Winchester Model 1894 — Type Lever action hunting rifle Place of origin …   Wikipedia

  • Kenosha, Wisconsin — Infobox Settlement official name = Kenosha, Wisconsin settlement type = City imagesize = image caption = image mapsize = 250px map caption = Location of Kenosha within Wisconsin mapsize1 = map caption1 = subdivision type = Country subdivision… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”