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The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Academia: An Essay on Graduate Education

Eric Plutzer
Teaching Sociology
Vol. 19, No. 3, Graduate Education (Jul., 1991), pp. 302-307
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1318196
Page Count: 6
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The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Academia: An Essay on Graduate Education
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Abstract

Sociologists administer graduate programs irrationally, in ways that run counter to accepted sociological knowledge and to approaches that we might advocate for undergraduate education. This irrational behavior becomes understandable if we assume that sociologists act in accordance with a belief in predestination. According to this belief, some graduate students are members of the elect and are predestined for success. Acting in accordance with such a belief has a number of negative consequences for students and for the discipline as a whole. I conclude by suggesting some reforms that follow from the diagnosis of the problem.

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