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

By Logan Wilson | Go to book overview

VIII. SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS

THE academic man occupies a status within the social system of his university and profession, but as a human being he also has a broader socio-economic status, or position in the larger society. He is a participant in an open-class society in which occupation is the most important single factor in determining class position. Not only does the long arm of the job encircle working conditions, but also it reaches out to embrace almost every phase of social life. The university professor is no exception to the general rule that where and how one lives is largely a matter of occupation and one's relative success in it. So long as the division of labor is human, therefore, we must consider employee social and economic statuses as being no less important than functions performed.

In short, we want to know what professional employment in the higher learning does to one's social status. Except in rare instances of esoteric callings, individuals do not follow occupations solely as ends in themselves. What does it mean in the wider community, then, to be a university professor rather than a plumber, merchant, or lawyer? How adequate is income as a criterion of social status? What are the exigencies of standard of living demands? To what extent do university people form a class sui generis, independent of other classes? What stereotyped attitudes does the public have toward the academic profession, and what status does it accord members of the profession? Persons of approximately equivalent status within the university system may have extremely disparate social positions in the community at large, to be sure, yet there are on the whole enough similarities to afford generalizations

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Title Page vii
  • List of Tables viii
  • INTRODUCTION: THE ACADEMIC MAN 2
  • PART I THE ACADEMIC HIERARCHY 13
  • Ii. Professional Recruit 15
  • Iii. Student and Apprentice 33
  • Iv. Staff Member 53
  • V. Professor Administrant 71
  • PART II ACADEMIC STATUS 95
  • Vi. Status Appraisal 97
  • Vii. Professional Status 113
  • Viii. Socio-Economic Status 13
  • PART III ACADEMIC PROCESSES AND FUNCTIONS 155
  • Ix. Prestige and Competition 157
  • X. Prestige and the Teaching Function 175
  • Xi. Prestige and the Research Function 195
  • PART IV CONCLUSIONS 215
  • Xii. Conclusions 217
  • APPENDICES 227
  • Index 243
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