Date of Award

7-12-1993

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

First Advisor

Dr. Melville J. Melnick

Abstract

The problem was to identify the public and private exemplars of American and English 13-year-olds, understand the reasons behind their choices and determine influence levels. 50 subjects were selected from an American junior high school; 50 more from an English comprehensive school of comparable size and location. Socio-economic similarity was tested using the Hollingshead two-factor index of social position (1957). Only subjects falling in class groups II or Ill ("middle class") were studied. The total sample included 18 English females, 18 English males, 18 American females and 19 American males. Data were gathered using a paper-and-pencil instrument. Results were categorized using Harris' (1987) schemas for exemplar domain and attributes. Finally, exemplar influence was determined using McEvoy and Erickson's (1981) five-point typology. Subjects in both countries more frequently selected male exemplars, and considered more people "admired" than "heroic." American subjects chose more private exemplars than the English. Entertainment exemplars were selected most often by females, and sports exemplars by males. Influence level averaged 2.4 for English subjects and 2. 7 for American subjects on a scale of 1-5 (with one representing least influence). Only male subjects registered the highest level of influence.

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