Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Teaching Sociology 23 (July 1995), pp. 199-214.


The individual and departmental factors affecting graduate students' professional socialization were studied by employing data from 309 PhD students in 16 graduate programs in sociology. Using Rosenbaum's tournament model of opportunity structures and aspects of Tinto's model of social psychological integration, this study examines students' access to initial funding, resources in the department, indicators of prior ability, current professional activities, mentoring processes, and social psychological factors for their effects on socialization into the academic profession. Access to initial funding and to mentoring have substantial effects on PhD students' professional socialization, but prove to be less than rational processes in the graduate program. This socialization process is found to be based more on particularistic than on universalistic criteria in the allocation of departmental resources and mentoring. Implications for graduate student mentoring, funding, and divergent career paths are highlighted.