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Occupation and adult education of non-farm residents in rural British Columbia Rusnell, Albert Dale

Abstract

Because of increasing technological change in work situations, adult education has begun to focus more upon the role of occupations in urbanized societies. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between participation in adult education and measures of occupational status, category, mobility, and job satisfaction among non-farm residents of two rural areas in British Columbia. West Kootenay and Vanderhoof West, representing areas of low and high socio-economic standing, were selected for analysis from fifteen areas surveyed by the ARDA Canada Land Inventory Socio-Economic Project in British Columbia. Interview schedules completed in 1967 surveys of those areas were used as the source of data. Excluded were schedules for farmers, retired, and unemployed persons. The West Kootenay sample consisted of 104 respondents, twenty of whom were participants in adult education, while Vanderhoof West was represented by 130 respondents, including twenty-four participants. Opportunities for participation in adult education appeared to be equal between the two areas, although the areas differed significantly with respect to the distribution of courses among functions of adult education. Participants differed significantly from non-participants as they had higher occupational status than non-participants in both survey areas. West Kootenay participants exhibited upward sequential job mobility to a significantly greater extent than did West Kootenay non-participants. A general trend for participants to have greater upward occupational mobility than non-participants was evident, although the differences were not always significant. When participants in both areas were compared, no significant differences were found with respect to any of the four occupational variables. The results of the study suggest that participation in adult education by non-farm residents of rural British Columbia is not strongly associated with occupational measures.

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