chapter  17
37 Pages

Social Structure and Personality

WithJohn D. DeLamater, Jessica L. Collett

This chapter focuses on the relationships between social location and several characteristics that determine the nature and quality of one's life, including education and occupation, values, health, and strength of connection to the society. Each person's location in the social structure is the most important determinant of many of their life experiences. Professionals such as physicians, lawyers, and accountants are especially vulnerable to overload; until, the persons holding these positions have been primarily men. Other studies have shown that heart attacks are correlated with certain personality traits known as coronary-prone behavior patterns. The chapter indicates that relatively common, "everyday" stressors such as moving, starting a new job, changes in relationships, and conflict with family or coworkers affect individuals' physical and mental health, in some cases seriously. It considers the nature of occupational status, the determinants of the status that particular individuals attain or achieve, and the impact of social networks on the attainment of status.