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Standard, Meta-Standard : a framework for coding occupational data

Standard, Meta-Standard : ein Bezugsrahmen zur Codierung beruflicher Daten
[journal article]

Greenstein, Daniel I.

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Abstract Die Debatte über ein angemessenes Schema zur Codierung von beruflichen Daten dauert seit ungefähr 100 Jahren ohne befriedigende Ergebnisse an. Der vorliegende Beitrag geht den Gründen dieses mangelnden Konsens nach. Den entscheidenden Grund sieht der Autor darin, daß jedes entwickelte Schema unvermeidlich die spezifischen Forschungsinteressen und -annahmen mit ihren zeitbedingten Beschränkungen reflektiert. Der gleiche Datensatz führt deshalb zu unterschiedlichen Klassifikationen. Auf dem Hintergrund dieser Problemstellung entwickelt der Autor ein Codierungsschema, das der 'unvermeidlichen' Relativität besser gerecht zu werden sucht. (pmb)

'Debate over appropriate schema for coding occupational data has been ongoing without satisfactory resolution since at least the late nineteenth century. It is fuelled by the fact that classifying occupational data whether they are collected by culling the historical record or through precise sociological survey, can never be exact. Some of the relevant data are nearly always ambiguous (when is a 'merchant' merely a small shopkeeper and when a multi-national shipper of luxury goods?). Moreover, any scheme will inevitably reflect its author's particular research interests and/or assumptions about social and occupational structures relevant to the period and place under investigation. Consequently, any two authors faced with the same dataset are likely to produce different and even incompatible coding schemes with which to catagorize occupational information. Authors concerned with similar phenomena which occur in different places or at different times are even more likely to generate incompatible schemes. These well-known problems have far reaching ramifications. If coding schemes are ultimately subjective, then can we ever truly verify the quantitative historical research which employ them? How, without some attempt to standardized coding practices, the quantitative data collected and computerized by others will never be usable in for secondary or comparative analyses?' (author's abstract)
Keywords division of labor; occupational distribution; classification; methodology; social structure
Classification Methods and Techniques of Data Collection and Data Analysis, Statistical Methods, Computer Methods; Employment Research
Method basic research; development of methods
Document language English
Publication Year 1991
Page/Pages p. 3-22
Journal Historical Social Research, 16 (1991) 1
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works