Lives In Science: How Institutions Affect Academic Careers

Paperback | November 20, 2012

byJoseph C. Hermanowicz

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What can we learn when we follow people over the years and across the course of their professional lives? Joseph C. Hermanowicz asks this question specifically about scientists and answers it here by tracking fifty-five physicists through different stages of their careers at a variety of universities across the country. He explores these scientists’ shifting perceptions of their jobs to uncover the meanings they invest in their work, when and where they find satisfaction, how they succeed and fail, and how the rhythms of their work change as they age. His candid interviews with his subjects, meanwhile, shed light on the ways career goals are and are not met, on the frustrations of the academic profession, and on how one deals with the boredom and stagnation that can set in once one is established.

An in-depth study of American higher education professionals eloquently told through their own words, Hermanowicz’s keen analysis of how institutions shape careers will appeal to anyone interested in life in academia.

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What can we learn when we follow people over the years and across the course of their professional lives? Joseph C. Hermanowicz asks this question specifically about scientists and answers it here by tracking fifty-five physicists through different stages of their careers at a variety of universities across the country. He explores the...

Joseph C. Hermanowicz is associate professor of sociology at the University of Georgia and the author of The Stars Are Not Enough: Scientists—Their Passions and Professions, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

other books by Joseph C. Hermanowicz

College Attrition at American Research Universities: Comparative Case Studies (ebook)
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Format:PaperbackDimensions:338 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:November 20, 2012Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022600564X

ISBN - 13:9780226005645

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Guiding Theoretic Perspectives
Physics and Physicists
Organization of the Book

1 Following the Scientists
    Foundations of the Follow-up Study
    Research Design and Sample
    The Ten-Year Career Interval
    The Fieldwork
    Analysis of Data
    Academic Worlds Then and Now

2 Early- to Mid-Career Passages
    Professional Profile
    Early Career Patterns
    Elites
    Pluralists
    Communitarians
    Summary

3 Mid- to Late-Career Passages
    Professional Profile
    Mid-Career Patterns
    Elites
    Pluralists
    Communitarians
    Summary

4 Late- to Post-Career Passages
    Professional Profile
    Late-Career Patterns
    Elites
    Pluralists
    Communitarians
    Summary

5 Lives of Learning
    Expectations and the Rhythm of Careers
    Anomie and Adaptation
    Reference Groups and Social Control
    Selection of Reference Groups
    Rejection of Reference Groups
    Social Control of the Life Course
    Careers in Other Academic Fields
    Future Cohorts of Scientists and Contexts of Science

    Appendix A: Interview Protocol—Foundational Study, 1998
    Appendix B: Contact Letter to Scientists
    Appendix C: Thank-You Letter to Scientists
    Appendix D: Interview Protocol
    Appendix E: Post-Interview Questionnnaire
    Appendix F: Departmental Questionnaire
    Appendix G: Propositions Generated by the Study

Note
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

"To take the surprise out of the territory ahead, anyone hoping for an academic science career would be wise to consider the message of this thoughtful, solid, illuminating book."