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ERIC Number: EJ877453
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jun
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0003-1232
Sociology as a Vocation: Reputations and Group Cultures in Graduate School
Ferrales, Gabrielle; Fine, Gary Alan
American Sociologist, v36 n2 p57-75 Jun 2005
Graduate training in sociology involves more than meeting organizationally imposed demands such as satisfying departmental requirements, taking exams, and completing a dissertation. More central is the development of identity through institutional and interactional forces. We examine the experience of graduate students as tied to the social psychological processes associated with professional training. We consider the faculty-student relationship, identifying how student identities as future sociologists are negotiated and constructed within a reputation market linked to status politics. Through this process, graduate students construct frames of interpretation that make sense of a status system in which criteria for evaluation are often variable, uncertain, or undisclosed. To recognize how graduate students fit into their occupational routines, we build upon three core disciplinary constructs: identity, reputation, and group culture. This perspective permits graduate education to be grounded in sociological understandings, underlining the role of a sociological imagination. We propose strategies that sociology departments might follow to facilitate the professional socialization of graduate students, emphasizing the establishment of group culture and presentational norms. In the absence of these changes, we offer advice to graduate students on navigating their current programs.
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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