Man, Work, and Society: A Reader in the Sociology of Occupations

By Sigmund Nosow; William H. Form | Go to book overview
5.
See E. C. Hughes, "Career and Office," in Dubin, op. cit., pp. 96-98.
6.
It can be seen as a possible sanctioning device by virtue of making knowledge about an individual available to persons who are in a strategic position in relation to that person's occupational aspirations. Also, once the information is "fed into" the contact system (and it is a communication system) the individual no longer knows whom it may reach. Members of an occupational contact system at times evaluate a particular individual; at such times the available knowledge about the individual is pooled and brought to bear. The existence of consensus within such systems regarding the abilities of an individual are worth investigating.
7.
An example of this exists in the recent work of A. Gouldner. He deals with the "expert" who may have greater loyalty to his reference group and specialized occupational skills than to the organization which employs him. His study of academic persons attempts to differentiate between "cosmopolitans" and "locals"--in the manner of the Columbia communications researchers. "Locals" are those professionals who are primarily oriented to the organization in which they work; "cosmopolitans," on the other hand, are concerned with a wider sphere of social relationships. See A. Gouldner, "Cosmopolitans and Locals: Toward an Analysis of Social Roles," Administrative Science Quarterly, December 1957, pp. 281-306.
8.
Anyone who has attempted to get a position simply by going to the personnel office knows that it is far from easy to get jobs this way. The man-without- contacts begins at the personnel office and is often likely to end there. The man-with-contacts goes to the personnel office after he has been hired--to "fill out the forms."

5. THE CAREER OF THE SCHOOLTEACHER

Howard S. Becker

The concept of career has proved of great use in understanding and analyzing the dynamics of work organizations and the movement and fate of individuals within them. The term refers, to paraphrase Hall, to the patterned series of adjustments made by the individual to the "network of institutions, formal organizations, and informal relationships"1 in which the work of the occupation is performed. This series of adjustments is typically considered in terms of movement up or down between positions differentiated by their rank in some formal or informal hierarchy of prestige, influence, and income. The literature in the field has devoted itself primarily to an analysis of the types, states, and contingencies of careers, so conceived, in various occupations.2 We may refer to such mobility through a hierarchy of ranked positions, if a spatial metaphor be allowed, as the vertical aspect of the career.

By focusing our attention on this aspect of career movement, we may tend to overlook what might, in contrast, be called the horizontal aspect of the career: movement among the positions available at one level of such a hierarchy. It need not be assumed that occupational positions which share some characteristics because of their similar rank in a formal

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