ABSTRACT

This chapter is concerned with what have been called contingencies in the process of becoming established in the labor force and moving toward one's adult position in the society's stratification structure. The term contingency implies two things. One is that the events in question are not necessarily predictable from knowledge of the overall attainment process. They are events that have a dynamic of their own. Second, the term implies that the presence or absence of the events in question is likely to have a positive or negative effect on the attainment process. They constitute shocks to the system, which lead to outcomes that differ from what would otherwise have occurred.