The project reported in this article investigated the views of 546 pupils aged 14 - 15 years drawn from 5 schools in one Scottish city. This article reports on the influence of the family and friends element of Bourdieu’s, Coleman’s and Putnam’s social networks and civic norms, on pupils’ views about science careers. Coleman (1988) suggests that social networks and civic norms influence attainment and engagement. Buchmann and Dalton (2000) suggest that social networks and civic norms mediate effects of socio-economic background and ability on aspirations. The pupils completed a questionnaire. Findings illustrate the even though pupils wish to have high earning careers and believe that scientists are high earners, the views of their parents and to a lesser extent, friends influence their attitudes towards pursuing a career in science.
Key words: Careers, pupil perception.