Job satisfaction in the fishery in two Southeast Alaskan towns

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Job satisfaction provides us with a window to view the psycho-cultural adaptations of individuals in communities. In this case we are looking at three maritime occupations in two highly fishing-dependent communities in Southeast Alaska. A great deal of research has linked job satisfaction to individual attributes such as mental health and longevity; and social problems such as family violence, absenteeism, and job performance. Job satisfaction, in turn, is related to aspects of the occupation that can be impacted by changes resulting from development and/or management. The paper examines aspects of job satisfaction among commercial fishers, charter boat operators and fish plant workers in Petersburg and Craig, Southeast Alaska. Respondents were requested to rate 21 aspects of their present occupation in terms of their relative satisfaction. Analysis of the data resulted in a component structure very similar to that found among fishers in Nova Scotia, New England, and the Mid-Atlantic coast. Inclusion of non-commercial fishers in the sample gives this research a dimension that was missing in the earlier work. Interrelationships between job satisfaction data, aspects of the occupation (e.g., fishing type, crew size, etc.), and individual characteristics (e.g., age, years experience, fishing family origin, etc.) are examined and discussed in the paper in relationship to management and technological changes in the fishery. Overall, the paper provides an increment to our understanding of the theory of job satisfaction in the fishery. Copyright © 2006 by the Society for Applied Anthropology.

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Human Organization