Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The rapid industrialization of nonmetropolitan areas and small towns has been a relatively recent phenomenon. The economic impact of such development has been well documented. However, not much is known about the social effects of industrial development in rural communities--particularly as related to attitudes of the indigenous population. The objective of this study was to determine the association between several independent variables (type of employment, age, sex, race, education, and income) and job mobility aspirations of adult employees in industry and others in the surrounding area. Job mobility aspirations in this study were defined by a scale comprised of eight items, which attempted to measure the respondent's attitude toward occupational mobility. It was expected that industrial development would produce social change in the area which would influence the relationship between sociodemographic characteristics and job mobility aspirations of employees in the area. It was hypothesized that job mobility aspirations would be significantly influenced by the sociodemographic variables used. A sample of 152 randomly selected employees of a wire and box plant and 147 nonplant employees in the surrounding area was utilized in this study of industrial development in Jena, a rural community in LaSalle parish located in east-central Louisiana. Analysis of the basic model for the study indicated that none of the independent variables significantly influenced job mobility aspirations. A modified model revealed that only age (for plant workers) and income (for nonplant workers) significantly influenced job mobility aspirations. The results of this study suggested that the community of study was rather homogeneous in terms of occupational attitudes. Female employees may have been the major beneficiaries of industrial development, and their job mobility aspirations may have become more similar to that of male employees. It is also possible that the duration of industrial development was not long enough to produce significant social differences in the rural population of the area.