Teachers’ Perception of their Social Status: A Phenomenological Study Based on their Lived Experiences
S. Mahdian 
R. Hakimzadeh, Ph.D. 
S. Safaei Movahed, Ph.D.
K. Salehi, Ph.D.
The current qualitative research was carried out to evaluate teachers’ perception of their social status based on a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. To this end, 16 male elementary school teachers in District 14 of Tehran were selected through purposive sampling method and the data were collected by semi-structured interviews. Results showed that few teachers were satisfied with their social status and valued the teaching profession as a spiritual endeavor. Nevertheless, majority of teachers were not content with their social status and contributed this to organizational, economic, social, and personal threats. Low wages and benefits and lack of professional prestige were among the most important indicators of the economic dimension. The most significant indicators of the organizational dimension included poor performance of authorities as well as recruitment, promotion and selection policy and standards. The identified indicators of the social dimension were money-oriented culture, standards of social status in the highly materialistic society, parents’ and students’ attitude towards teachers, status of the teaching profession compared with other occupations, and the performance of mass media. The identified indicators of the personal dimension comprised weak performance of some teachers, low professional commitment, personal feelings and thoughts, teachers’ negative mentality, personal behavior and professional ethics. In general, the present situation has led to teachers’ being demotivated at work, lack of professional commitment, desire to quit the job, regret of choosing teaching career, shirking, and fatigue.
Keywords: teachers’ social status, perception of social status, social prestige, qualitative research
Date received: Oct. 24, 2016 Date accepted: Nov. 25, 2017
. M.A. in Educational Research, Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Tehran. firstname.lastname@example.org
. Associate Professor, Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Tehran (Corresponding Author). email@example.com
. Head of Monitoring and Evaluation Department, National Iranian Oil Company. firstname.lastname@example.org
. Assistant Professor, Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Tehran, email@example.com