The stability of occupational prestige rankings over time and among cross-sectional subgroups was demonstrated. Undergraduates from different regions, hometown sizes, and political orientations ranked occupations similarly in terms of relative prestige. Compared with other studies, the rank-order correlations of prestige were .88 with a 1925 study, .93 with a 1947 study, and .95 with a 1968 study. Changes in rankings over time were examined against functionalist and conflict theories of social stratification. Both theories were necessary to explain shifts in relative rankings since 1925, but the functionalist approach appears to more adequately define why shifts begin to occur.
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