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Confidence In Organized Labor

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Statement of problem

People have opinions and thoughts about many issues relating to the work force. They wonder what is the best occupation to get in, how much money they can make in certain fields, who the best employers might be.

Some of the big concerns people have when thinking about employment is benefits. What can a company provide to the potential employee in terms of insurance, vacations, advancement, and all the extras associated with the perks of certain companies? At the time do these people wonder about the organizations that may have a say in those benefits they so covet. The labor unions

Through my research I have found very little information that deals with confidence in organized labor. Most of the data that I have obtained is more closely related to unions in general than to the people who have confidence in them; and I will attempt to ascertain whether people have confidence in organized labor, not whether they approve or disapprove of labor unions.

With the little information that I was able to obtain in this quest, I suggest that this research would be beneficial to sociology by presenting more information on the topic of confidence in organized labor and giving sociologists a platform from which to proceed with further research in this area.


One objective of this paper is to determine whether there is confidence in organized labor. Another objective is to ascertain whether there is an association between certain independent variables relating to the level of confidence in organized labor.


The topic of confidence in organized labor is an expansive subject which can be studied from the perspectives of many different variables. What I want to know is what others have written about confidence in organized labor, how the different variables of my research react to unions, whether there are any reasons they feel this way, what the unions are doing to gain confidence, and whom they are likely to target for membership. I have read that education may affect the way people feel toward unions (Sares, 1991). Meikasins and Smith's (1993) article about how professionals are not as unionized as their industrious counterparts tend to show an association about income and confidence. (Most professionals earn more than industry workers.) One of the areas of my research is race (Wilson, 1989): does this variable have any association with confidence in organized labor? Another focus of in my research is whether sex can attribute to one's view on labor unions (Sares). Do men or women have the greater confidence in organized labor? What has been done by the labor unions to gain people's confidence, and what groups have they targeted most (Cosco)? Are there any factors, such as the economy, that contribute to a person's confidence in labor unions (Dalesio)? The research that I have reviewed will be used to assist me in determining how confidence in organized labor is associated with the independent variables that I will be using.



In 1972, the General Social Survey (GSS) began collecting data from a random national sample of adults 18 and older. The people interviewed had participated in National Opinion Research Center (NORC) national samples. All of the participants were English-speaking and lived in non-institutional settings within the United States.

The general purpose of GSS is to collect information on society and use this data to observe and explain any trends or changes in behaviors. For a modest fee and within a reasonable time period, the results are made accessible to people wishing to use the information.

In 2000 the GSS interviewed nearly 3,000 non-institutionalized adults. The sample was chosen by using a multistage, stratified probability sampling design. This method was chosen so that each participant in the target area would have an equal probability of being chosen. The data gathered from these approximately ninety-minute in-person interviews will be used to assist in this research. Seventy percent of the samples contacted by the GSS responded.

The data used in this research was obtained from the GSS. It came from the spring of 2001 survey. The code book was used to select the dependent variable and independent variables for this research.

Analytic Strategy

Data gathered from this research was analyzed using SPSS. With the SPSS program the dependent variable, confidence in organized labor, was recoded as were the independent variables; income level, amount of education, and race. The independent variable sex was not recoded. After the variables were recoded frequencies were made using SPSS.

SPSS was used for crosstabulazation between the recoded dependent variable and the recoded independent variables and the non-recoded independent variable, sex. A Chi-square test was also run to determine the association between the dependent variable and the independent variables.using be analyzed using frequencies, chi-square, and recoding where deemed necessary.



The dependent variable in this research is confidence in organized labor. This is an ordinal level of measurement. The original values for this variable were

0 = NAP, 1 = A GREAT DEAL, 2 = ONLY SOME, 3 = HARDLY ANY, 8 = DK, 9 = NA

This variable was recoded with the new values 1 = A GREAT DEAL, 2 = ONLY SOME, 3 = HARDLY ANY, 999 = ALL OTHER VALUES.

The independent variables to be used are the following:

* sex, a nominal level of measurement with the values of

1 = MALE, 2 = FEMALE.

This variable was not recoded. This variable was used to see if males have more confidence in organized labor or if females have more confidence in organized labor. It was also used to see if there was any association between sex and confidence in organized labor.

* amount of education, an ordinal level of measurement with the original values of 0 = LT HIGH SCHOOL, 1 = HIGH SCHOOL,


7 = NAP, 8 = DK,



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