The Academic Man: A Study in the Sociology of a Profession

The Academic Man: A Study in the Sociology of a Profession

The Academic Man: A Study in the Sociology of a Profession

The Academic Man: A Study in the Sociology of a Profession

Excerpt

This book about the academic man is written in a spirit neither of praise nor of pique. Rather, it is intended as an objective description and analysis of a special occupational culture. As a participant in this culture, I was initially curious to see what light a sociological treatment of structure and function might throw upon personnel problems of the academic profession. If, on the whole, less attention seems to be given to the satisfactions than to the dissatisfactions of a university career, it should be remembered that problems of social organization appear in the latter nexus. Throughout the work I have tried to maintain a detached point of view, and my presentation of the subject is expository rather than argumentative.

Since no single investigator could gather all of the material used in this inquiry, I have drawn freely upon a wide range of sources. I am indebted directly and indirectly to many persons, and wherever reference is made to published data, credit is given. It is impossible here to express thanks to the innumerable academicians who have helped in checking and extending first-hand observations in a variety of institutions.

I do want to note my special obligation, however, to a number of men. For certain germinal ideas of this study, acknowledgment is due Willard Waller, of Columbia University. For criticisms and suggestions during various stages of the inquiry, I wish to thank the following: P. A. Sorokin, C. C. Zimmerman, Talcott Parsons, and Gordon Allport, of Harvard University; Robert K. Merton, of Columbia University; and Read Bain, of Miami University. For reading the manuscript and suggesting revisions, I am indebted to Hans Gerth, of the University of Wisconsin . . .

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