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

By Logan Wilson | Go to book overview

X. PRESTIGE AND THE TEACHING FUNCTION

NOWHERE in America is there a university which devotes itself exclusively to a scholarly pattern. In actuality one finds academicians engaged in a wide variety of activities under the name of cultural conservation, dissemination, and innovation. The typical state university, for example, is conceived as a kind of service station for the general public. Medical and legal-aid clinics are provided for the indigent; short courses are held for parents, policemen, and football coaches; research bureaus show farmers how to increase egg production and businessmen how to improve sales volume; radio stations and sports stadia enlighten and entertain the masses; faculty members are on call for luncheon clubs, study groups, and popular forums. As the late President Lotus D. Coffman, of the University of Minnesota, expressed it: 'The state universities hold that there is no intellectual service too undignified for them to perform.' Many private institutions share this democratic credo.

A variegated assortment of staff roles results from the manifold public demands made upon institutions of higher learning. As someone has suggested, the professor selects and rationalizes the roles expected of him, and which he regards as most favorable and most attainable. The specific activities in which he engages depend upon the institution employing him, the kind of position he has, and the components of his wishes for security and recognition. Our purpose in this and the next chapter is to analyze the major functions the academician performs in terms of their prestige or recognition value.

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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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