Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Michael Bassis


This study examines the relationship between school climate and career commitment among recruits to the merchant marine. In a crossnational sample of academies in England, Spain and the United States, commitment to a maritime career is found to be associated with the school climate in which training takes place. Specifically, recruits being trained in a climate of high structural rigidity are more likely than recruits being trained in less rigid environments to have made a career decision and to have made that decision in favor of a short career at sea.

Furthermore, the above relationship is shown to be contextual in nature. Regardless of their personal perceptions of the climate of their school, recruits in structurally rigid academies express less commitment to a maritime career. This finding is interpreted as a result of the normative order in a structurally rigid environment discouraging the formation of an occupational identity and encouraging an instrumental orientation to a maritime career.