ERIC Number: ED230157
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
The Tenure Drum: An Investigation of Ritual Violence in the Modern University.
Tierney, William G.
The structural aspects of ritual in a modern university and the way that ritual operates through the use of tenure at Stanford University is assessed, based on an ethnohistorical analysis of the firing of a tenured professor, H. Bruce Franklin. Mr. Franklin actively opposed the Vietnam War and Stanford University's alleged involvement with the war, and was charged and dismissed for his activities and speeches, and disruption of a speech by Henry Cabot Lodge. Attention is directed to how people socially construct their own reality and the following factors: (1) the positioning of the actors in the drama, (2) the historical forces that are at work within the symbolic representation of time, and (3) the place of ritual as a process in a period of conflict in a modern organization. It is suggested that the cognitive and social mechanisms that are at work in simple society are also evident in modern institutions, such as a university. The current case of Mr. Franklin is also contrasted to the firing in 1900 of Edward A. Ross, a young Stanford University professor with liberal views. It is noted that understanding of time and the social and historical processes contextualize the ritual. However, a sacrifice occurs that follows set patterns that are influenced by the actors and the larger social world. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Rituals; Stanford University CA
Note: A revision of a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Ethnography in Education Forum (Philadelphia, PA, 1983).