Self-perceived Occupational Prestige among Romanian Teaching Staff: Organisational Explicative Factors


  • Valeriu FRUNZARU National University of Political Studies and Public Administration
  • Diana-Luiza DUMITRIU National University of Political Studies and Public Administration


Most studies discuss occupational prestige by stressing out the macro-social aspects related to specific social stratification models. This paper aims to address the impact of organizational aspects on how teachers perceive the prestige of their occupational group, moving the focus on the micro-social context of their daily activity. The way teaching staff evaluate the social prestige of their profession fulfils normative and motivational functions and is, hence, reflected in how they actually perform their professional roles, serving both explicative and prospective purposes. In trying to identify the main factors that can explain the self-perceived level of occupational prestige among educators and teachers, we conducted a national level study among Romanian teachers (N=2165) from preschool to high school educational stages. Within the explicative model (R²=0.38), we were able to group the factors in three main categories: material conditions, bureaucratic and relational aspects. The findings reveal that teachers’ involvement in bureaucratic activities such as elaborating different reports, as well as a lower level of satisfaction regarding the relation they have with students, parents and representatives of the school's management end up decreasing the self-perceived occupational prestige. Our study lays emphasis on the fact that organizational factors influence teachers' selfperceived prestige and, thus, can affect the overall quality of the educational act. Therefore, to improve this, a greater involvement of national and local authorities in providing better material conditions in schools, in supporting the debureaucratization of the educational system and re-evaluating the role of teacher-student-parent communication triad is needed.


Abel, M., and Sewell, J. (1999). Stress and burnout in rural and urban secondary school teachers. Journal of Educational Research, 92(5), 287–299.

Ballakrishnen, S. (2012). ‘I love my American job’: professional prestige in the Indian outsourcing industry and global consequences of an expanding legal profession. International Journal of the Legal Profession, 19(2/3), 379–404.

Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In John G. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp.241–258). New York:


Bourdieu, P. (1998). The new capital. In Pierre Bourdieu (Ed.), Practical reason: On the theory of action (pp.19–30). Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

Buchanan, J. (2010). May I be excused? Why teachers leave the profession. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 30(2), 199-211.

Buzea, F., and Scârneci, C. (2011). Ocuppational prestige in Romania - an exploratory study. Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Braşov, 4(53), 9-18.

Ch’ing-Jiang, L. (1994). Occupational Prestige and Professional Image of Teachers in Taiwan: A Comparison of Three Surveys. Chinese Education & Society, 27(6), 76-88.

Chan, T.W., and Goldthorpe, J.H. (2007). Class and status: The conceptual distinction and its empirical relevance. American Sociological Review, 72((4), 512–532.

Connell, R. (2007). Teachers. In R. Connell, C. Campbell, M. Vickers, A. Welch, D. Foley, and N. Bagnall (Eds.), Education, change and society (pp.262–279). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Dick, V.R., and Wagner, U. (2001). Stress and strain in teaching: a structural equation approach. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 71(2), 243-259.

Eurostat (2015). Your key to European statistics. Retrieved from

Everton, T., Turner, P., Hargreaves, L., and Pell, T. (2007). Public perceptions of the teaching profession. Research Papers in Education, 22(3), 247-265.

Frunzaru, V., Oprea, D., and Parsachiv, M. (2014). Studiu privind securitatea și sănătatea în muncă în școlile și grădinițele din România [Study on work security and wealth in the Romanian schools and kindergartens]. Constanța: Celebris.

Frunzaru, V., Pricopie, R., Corbu, N., Ivan, L., and Cismaru, D.M. (2013). Învăţământul universitar din România. Dialog cu elevi, studenţi şi profesori [Higher education in Romania. A dialog with pupils, students and teachers]. Bucharest:

Fujishiro, K., Xu, J., and Gong, F. (2010). What does "occupation" represent as an indicator of socioeconomic status?: Exploring occupational prestige and health. Social Science & Medicine, 71(12), 2100-2107.

Fwu, B.J., and Wang, H.H. (2002). The Social Status of Teachers in Taiwan. Comparative Education, 38(2), 211-224.

Gozzoli, C., Frascaroli, D., and D’Angelo, C. (2015). Teachers’ Wellbeing/Malaise: Which Resources And Efforts At Individual, Group And Organizational Levels?. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 191(1), 2241-2245.

Hargreaves, A. (2003). Teaching in the knowledge society: education in the age of insecurity. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Hoyle, E. (2001). Teaching. Prestige, Status and Esteem. Educational Management & Administration. 29(2), 139–152.

Ingersoll, R.M. (2001). Teacher turnover and teacher shortages: an organizational analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 38(3), 499–534.

Kaiumov, A.T., Kanikov, F.K., and Iskhakova, N.R. (2014). What Young Students in a Major Industrial City Think About the Prestige of Professions. Russian Education and Society, 56(7), 40–57.

Kim, J., Kim, J., Jaquette, O., and Bastedo, M.N. (2014). Institutional Stratification and the Postcollege Labor Market: Comparing Job Satisfaction and Prestige across Generations. The Journal of Higher Education, 85(6), 761-789.

Klein, M. (2015). Educational Expansion, Occupational Closure and the Relation between Educational Attainment and Occupational Prestige over Time. Sociology. Retrieved from

Korthagen, F. (2004). In search of the essence of a good teacher: Towards a more holistic approach in teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20(1), 77–97.

Santiago, P. (2005). Teachers matter: attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers. Paris: OECD.

Weber, M. (1978). Economy and Society. An Outline of Interpretative Sociology (vol.II). Berkeley: University of California Press.

Weeden, K.A., and Grusky, D.B. (2005). The case for a new class map. American Journal of Sociology, 111(1), 141–212.




How to Cite

FRUNZARU, V., & DUMITRIU, D.-L. (2015). Self-perceived Occupational Prestige among Romanian Teaching Staff: Organisational Explicative Factors. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 3(4), 629–643. Retrieved from