Sidanius, J., van Laar, C., Levin, S., & Sinclair, S. (2003). Social hierarchy maintenance and the allocation of social roles: A social dominance perspective. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 6, 353-368.
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations
Using vocational choice and social dominance theories as organizing frameworks, and employing data from a five-wave longitudinal study of undergraduates, we explored the relationship between generalized anti-egalitarianism, on the one hand, and the choice of hierarchy-enhancing (HE) and hierarchy-attenuating (HA) college majors and future careers on the other hand. Consistent with theoretical expectations, the data showed that students with high levels of anti-egalitarianism were more likely to choose HE college majors and future careers, while students with relatively low levels of generalized anti-egalitarianism were more likely to choose HA college majors and future careers. Congruent students (high antiegalitarianism/HE majors and low anti-egalitarianism/HA majors) enjoyed greater academic success, and greater expectations of academic success than incongruent students (high antiegalitarianism/HA majors and low anti-egalitarianism/HE majors). Finally, we explored three processes possibly responsible for the congruence between anti-egalitarianism and career path: (1) self-selection, (2) institutional socialization, and (3) differential success/differential attrition. The results only showed support for self-selection mechanisms.