Perceptions of occupational prestige: Differences between African American and White college students

Terrance L. Walker, Terence Tracey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


The present study examined perceptions of occupational prestige among university students. One hundred and twenty-four African American and 174 White students rated the prestige levels of 36 occupations evenly sampled from the six RIASEC types and three levels of prestige. Results indicated that there was a significant difference in perception of occupational prestige. African Americans reported more prestige for R, S, E, and C occupations than did Whites. For African Americans there was a positive relation between endorsement of the centrality of African American identity and prestige ratings R, A, S, and E. These results suggest that perceptions of prestige vary across and within ethnicity and also provide additional insight into how prestige might influence African American students' occupational selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-81
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012



  • African Americans
  • Occupational perception
  • Prestige

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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