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ERIC Number: EJ910203
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1546
Keeping up with the Joneses: Socialization and Culture in Doctoral Education at One Striving Institution
Gardner, Susan K.
Journal of Higher Education, v81 n6 p728-749 Nov-Dec 2010
Institutional prestige is an inherent part of higher education in the U.S., resulting in rankings that often become the rationale for resource allocation including research grants and increased admission applications. While the desire for prestige and high rankings are important to research universities, the reality is that not all universities can be ranked among the very top. Nevertheless, the concept of academic or upward drift persists as institutions jockey for more prestige, and therefore more currency, in the academic milieu. And, while upward drift has been studied from the organizational perspective, no known literature has addressed the effects of these "striving" cultures upon organizational actors, particularly those related to doctoral education. Indeed, the majority of the studies about doctoral education have been completed at these high-ranking, prestigious institutions in the U.S. To attend to this gap in the literature as well as to better understand the role of prestige in lesser-ranked institutions, this study focused upon the voices of faculty members and doctoral students from one third-tiered institution. In particular, the study sought to understand the impact of the institutional culture upon the socialization of the doctoral students and the faculty members with whom they worked. The paper begins with a brief overview of the literature related to striving institutions and doctoral education in the U.S., an explanation of the methods used to conduct the study, followed by the presentation of findings, and concluding with an interpretation of these findings and their application to policy, practice, and future research. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A