positional jobsany sought-after jobs where the supply is inherently limited, e.g. all ‘top jobs’. According to Hirsch (1977) the spiralling quest for educational achievement in modern industrial societies is a phenomenon of‘positionality’. More and more people compete for best-paid, high-status occupational positions. However, since the supply of such jobs is inherently limited, and at best increases less rapidly than the expansion of HIGHER EDUCATION, the result of this is an escalation of the formal qualifications required without any corresponding return to most individuals or to society. See also CREDENTIALISM.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000