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ERIC Number: EJ877452
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jun
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0003-1232
The Identity Career of the Graduate Student: Professional Socialization to Academic Sociology
Adler, Patricia A.; Adler, Peter
American Sociologist, v36 n2 p11-27 Jun 2005
The pathway through graduate school is challenging and difficult. Nearly everyone, at one point or another, confronts the existential question of whether they want to drop out or to continue. Several challenges emerge as key to graduate students' success in progressing through their programs. The first is moving from the secure but sometimes suffocating structure of a core graduate cohort into the role of independent student. This requires navigating an individual pathway into areas of specialization and a mentor. Programs can do no more than make faculty and courses available; from there, students must make connections and decisions on their own. The second critical transition involves moving from absorbing to creating knowledge. Accomplishing this requires that students grasp the conceptual foundation of the perspective (the "sociological eye"), learn how to gather data, to master the challenge of moving from immersion in the specificity of their research to contribute to more abstract theory, and to understand the conventions through which they must present their scholarly work. Along the way there are myriad interpersonal challenges for them to negotiate. Allegiances that they forge are then relinquished to make way for new, more stage-relevant ones. Students often undergo radical changes in their values and consciousness as they progress through their programs. They are bonded into an equalitarian model of evaluation and support in their cohesive, early years in the cohort. But as they forge scholarly accomplishments and turn their eyes increasingly toward the discipline, they recognize that their democratic ideals must yield to the meritocratic reality of the profession.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A