This paper introduces a new occupational status scale, the Australian Socioeconomic Index 2006 (AUSEI06). AUSEI06 is the latest in the series of ANU scales that for more than 40 years have provided researchers with a means of assigning sociologically meaningful occupational status scores to data coded in accordance with the official occupational classifications of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The scales continue to be widely used in fields as diverse as sociology, economics, education, and health. However, the release of a new occupational classification by the ABS has changed the manner in which much new Australian data on occupations will be coded, necessitating an update of the most recent ANU scale. The ANU scales: An historical overview Over time, the ANU scale has evolved, reflecting conceptual and methodological advances in the field of social stratification (Table 1, Column 1). The initial scale, ANU1, was a nominal prestige scale. Prestige scales measure the social standing or desirability of occupations. They are typically generated from the normative judgements of panels of experts or population samples on the prestige of selected occupations. For the ANU1 scale, one hundred grouped occupations were further collapsed into 16 broad categories and then ordered to form a prestige scale in broad accordance with research on occupational prestige in Australia and the United States (Broom et al., 1965; Broom and Jones, 1969).
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