Title: Professional orientations of university professors and their behavior at meetings of learned societies
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00102840/00001
 Material Information
Title: Professional orientations of university professors and their behavior at meetings of learned societies
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Poole, Darryl Gene, 1943-
Copyright Date: 1974
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00102840
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - ADA8756
oclc - 14071659

Full Text







Copyright by
Darryl Gene Poole

To Judi: May her future trials be lesser ones.


Those deserving acknowledgment for rendering support

functions during my graduate work constitute a host. Spe-

cial mention must be given a few, however. Foremost is

my doctoral supervisor, Dr. Benjamin Gorman, and my doctoral

committee, composed of Dr. Gerald Leslie, Dr. Wilbur Bock,

Dr. Anthony LaGreca, and Dr. Hal Lewis. For their cues and

clues I thank them. Dr. Gorman deserves special acknowl-

edgment for the nearly five years he genuinely supported

and encouraged me: he is a mentor much admired.

A note of credit is due also the United States Depart-

ment of Health, Education, and Welfare, whose grant (No. 1

RO3M1 12604-01) served as impetus for this study.

The primary support provided by my sons, Darren and

Jason, cannot go without comment. It can only be hoped that

sometime in the future they will realize how much their

being has meant to me.

To Judi, my wife, Just "thank you" is not enough. May

whatever comes after be an expression of my gratitude to her.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . .

LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . .

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . .



Purpose of the Study . . . .
The Self . . . . . . .
The Reference Group . . . .
The Professional's Reference Group
The Convention . . . . .


Social-Psychological Foundations
The Reference Group Approach . .
The Cosmopolitan-Local Orientation
Professional Socialization and Prof


. . iv

S. . vii

. . x




The Questionnaire . . .
The Samples . . . . .
The Measurement of Variables
Statistical Tests . . .
The Hypotheses . . . .

S . . . 67

S . . . 67
S . . . 69
S . . . 71
. . . . 81
. . . . 87


. . . . . 110

Hypothesis I
Hypothesis II
Hypothesis III
Hypothesis IV
Hypothesis V
Hypothesis VI
Hypothesis VII
Hypothesis VIII
Hypothesis IX .
Hypothesis X


. .



Summary of the Findings . . . ... 147
Interpretation of Relationships ...... 150
Theoretical Generalizations . . . .. 156
Summary and Research Implications ..... 162




REFERENCES . . . . . . . . .. . 182

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . . .. 190



1. Cosmopolitan and Local Sociologists' Attendance 111
at National Conventions . . . . . .

2. Level of Cosmopolitanism and Number of National
Conventions Attended During a Four-Year
Period . . . . . . . . . 112

3. Level of Cosmopolitanism and Number of Peer
Contacts for the Week Prior to the Adminis-
tration of the Questionnaire . . . .. 114

4. Level of Cosmopolitanism and Prestige of Employ-
ing Department . . . . . . . 115

5. Number of Peer Contacts for the Week Prior to
the Administration of the Questionnaire and
Prestige of Employing Department. . . 116

6. National Conventions Attended During a Four-
Year Period and Number of Peer Contacts for
the Week Prior to the Administration of the
Questionnaire . . . . . . . . 118

7. National Conventions Attended During a Four-
Year Period and Prestige of Employing Depart-
ment . . . . . . . . . . 119

8. Number of Peer Contacts for the Week Prior to
the Administration of the Questionnaire and
Percent of Time at Conventions Talking to
Old Friends . . . . ... . . . 122

9. Number of Peer Contacts for the Week Prior to
the Administration of the Questionnaire and
Percent of Time at Conventions Meeting New
People . . . . . . . . . 123

10. Number of Peer Contacts for the Week Prior to
the Administration of the Questionnaire and
Percent of Time at Conventions Attending
Private Parties . . .. . . . 124



11. Number of Peer Contacts for the Week Prior to
the Administration of the Questionnaire and
the Importance of Primary Relations as a
Convention Function . . . . . ... 125

12. Number of Peer Contacts for the Week Prior to
the Administration of the Questionnaire and
the Importance of Communication Other Than
Intellectual and Primary as a Convention
Function . . . . . . . . . 127

13. Prestige of Employing Department and Percent of
Time at Conventions Attending Sessions . 129

14. Prestige of Employing Department and Percent of
Time at Conventions Attending Business and
Committee Meetings . . ... . .. 130

15. Prestige of Employing Department and Percent of
Time at Conventions Attending Publishers'
Exhibits . . . . ... . . . 131

16. Prestige of Employing Department and the Impor-
tance of Intellectual Exchange as a Conven-
tion Function . . .. . . . . . 133

17. Prestige of Employing Department and the Impor-
tance of Status Conferral as a Convention
Function . . ... . . . . . 134

18. Level of Cosmopolitanism and Percent of Time at
Conventions Talking to Old Friends .... 135

19. Level of Cosmopolitanism and Percent of Time at
Conventions Meeting New People . .. .. 136

20. Level of Cosmopolitanism and Percent of Time at
Conventions Attending Private Parties . 137

21. Level of Cosmopolitanism and the Importance of
Primary Relations as a Convention Function 138

22. Level of Cosmopolitanism and the Importance of
Communication Other Than Intellectual and
Primary as a Convention Function . . .. 139

23. Level of Cosmopolitanism and Percent of Time at
Conventions Attending Sessions . . .. 140

24. Level of Cosmopolitanism and Percent of Time at
Conventions Attending Business and Committee
Meetings . . ... . . . . . 141


25. Level of Cosmopolitanism and Percent of Time at
Conventions Attending Publishers' Exhibits 142

26. Level of Cosmopolitanism and the Importance of
Intellectual Exchange as a Convention Func-
tion . . . . .... .. . . . 143

27. Level of Cosmopolitanism and the Importance of
Status Conferral as a Convention Function 144

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Darryl Gene Poole

March, 1974

Chairman: Benjamin L. Gorman
Major Department: Sociology

The role of the professional meeting as a support for

scholars' reference group orientation is the broad focus of

this study. How professionals orient themselves toward their

professional reference groups and how that orientation re-

lates to the self-concept of the individual are problems of

note. These areas are explored by examining specific be-

haviors of sociologists at professional meetings. Subjects

investigated were respondents to a detailed questionnaire,

on convention attendance and participation, sent to randomly

selected samples of sociologists in the American Sociological

Association, the Midwest Sociological Society, and the

Southern Sociological Society.

Respondents were first classified as cosmopolitan or

local in their orientation using a Guttman scale of nine

items related to participation and interest in civic and

professional activities. Following Krause's theory (1971),

that a generic form of the cosmopolitan-local distinction

might be based on remoteness from the group, the cosmopolitan

individuals' scores were compared to their remoteness either

socially from fellow professionals, as measured by physical

contact with peers, or social-psychologically from the ideal

of the profession, as measured by reported prestige of the

employing department.

Further, several comparative and normative convention

activities, thought to provide opportunity for the cosmo-

politan to interact with significant others, were compared

both with cosmopolitanism and with the particular form of

remoteness thought to be the impetus for participation in a

particular activity. Levels of attendance were also compared

to cosmopolitanism and remoteness.

Analysis of the results gained through application of

several ordinal-level measures suggests that reference group

orientation is not related to convention attendance, nor to

participation in normative convention activities. There

does appear to be an unexpected inverse relation between

cosmopolitanism and comparative activities, and partial sup-

port is given to the view that cosmopolitanism reflects a

remote reference group commitment. Alternative explanations

for the disparate results are presented and discussed.



Purpose of the Study

This dissertation examines the self-concept of sociol-

ogists. It seeks to discover the relationships between that

self-concept and the orientation of those individuals to the

profession as a reference group; it examines sociologists'

participation in their association's conventions as a quest

for reference group support.

Several theoretical perspectives guide this study. The

cosmopolitan-local typology has been shown to be especially

important in analyzing the orientation of professionals to

their work roles and identities (Gouldner, 1957, 1958).

Problems in acquiring reference group support have been shown

to be different in concrete than in abstract reference groups

(Krause, 1971). Self-concept and reference group orienta-

tions both vary, with the relationship contingent on the

position of the individual within his group--his integra-

tion, his prestige, his conformity, and his sociometric cen-

trality (Merton, 1957; Hartley, 1957). Most generally,

these topics are all subsumed under the general matter of

how certain types of interactions with others are related to


Starting with this most general level, this chapter re-

views the major theoretical considerations in these areas

and develops a logical setting for this study.

The Self

That entity known as man's "self" is a topic of ongoing

disagreement and discussion among those engaged in the

scientific study of man. There is, therefore, no universal

measure of what man is; each discipline has its own peculiar

myopia. Whatever their particular stand, however, most

social scientists accept the idea that some portion of self

is not inherent but is, rather, learned in the process of

social interaction. Sherif and Cantril (1947) found this

view of the interactional development of man to be extremely

widespread and to date back to the eighteenth century. Their

conclusion is that, since we have so few generalizations to

begin with in the social sciences, it would be unwise to

overlook one with such widespread support.

Some social scientists feel that a totally culturally

determined definition is too narrow and neglects some part

of what man really is. Dennis Wrong (1961:193),for example,

pleaded for a broad view of man's self which would take into

account, along with learning through interaction, such fac-

tors as "material interests, sexual drives, and the quest

for power." Even Wrong (1961:190),however, believed that

the interactional "image of man is, like all the others

mentioned, valuable for limited purposes so long as it is

not taken for the whole truth."

The possibility that the interactional view of man's

self may not tell the total story of his development does

not, however, detract from the need to understand the forma-

tion and operation of that portion which is gained through

interaction. The broad purpose of this study is to contri-

bute to such understanding through investigation of parti-

cular interactions among sociologists.

The manner in which the self develops out of interaction

has been the topic of much speculation and investigation.

Seminal thinkers in the area are men like Charles Horton

Cooley and George Herbert Mead. Mead's concept of the gener-

alized other (Mead, 1964:218-219) is especially applicable

to this particular investigation. The generalized other is

the perception by the individual of the attitudes of his

social group taken from "their attitudes toward the various

phases or aspects of the common social activity or set of

social undertakings in which, as members of an organized

society or social group, they are all engaged." It is, in

short, the attitude of the whole community internalized and,

in addition, according to Mead, it is that which gives the

individual his "unity of self." That is, on the basis of

his perception of the generalized other, the individual al-

ters his own attitudes and conduct, and through such altera-

tions ultimately changes his "self."

Mead (1964:220) realized that in complex societies

individuals cannot derive their generalized other from the

total community or society, for these are much too large for

the person to comprehend, but the individual may draw his

attitudes from some social group or some one section of the

community. It can be said that the individual derives his

attitudes, his conduct, his self, in some measure, by orient-

ing himself to the groups of which he is a member or of

which he has some knowledge. In today's large and varied

societies religious or ethnic groups, occupational groups,

educational groups, or voluntary membership groups may all

serve as sources for individual attitudes and orientations.

Mead (1964:221) also posited that the generalized other

may be derived from two different types of social relations--

the concrete and the abstract. The views of the generalized

other derived from the concrete are those developed through

participation in specific, identifiable social groups, while

the abstract is based on those relationships in which indi-

viduals are related to each other and function as social

units only indirectly.

By concrete social relations Mead had in mind such

groups as political parties and clubs which are, in his terms,

"functional social units." These are the face-to-face

associations that provide the major portion of input for most

people as they act and react in their everyday lives. Be-

cause of the proximity of such group relations, the individ-

ual is usually quick to perceive responses to his actions

and adjust his future behavior and attitudes accordingly.


The office worker who doesn't follow proper procedure or the

local politician who makes an outrageous policy statement

very soon learns the error of his ways.

Perception of a generalized other based on abstract

social relations will, by definition, be less likely to in-

volve face-to-face interaction. Such perception is, rather,

likely to be based on some broad similarity of social posi-

tions or some underlying shared value structure. Krause

(1971:122), for example, said that, "when one assumes the

attitude of an abstract generalized other, he is identifying

himself with a collectivity more by such factors as common

identity, common values, and indirect structural relations,

than by direct interaction and direct functional inter-

dependencies between the members." Mead saw the class of

debtors or the class of creditors as illustrative of the

abstract generalized other, while Krause used the "peace

movement" as an example only slightly less limited in scope.

Entities like"Women's Lib" and "the working class" also seem

to offer possibilities for being perceived as abstract

generalized others.

In practical terms, then, the generalized other, whether

concrete or abstract, may be seen as a social phenomenon

which serves as a source of cues for the individual's actions

and attitudes. It is the entity to which he refers: his

reference group.

The Reference Group

The similarity between Mead's concept of the gener-

alized other and the concept of the reference group has not

gone entirely unnoticed (see Krause, 1971), but the rela-

tion seems worth exploring a bit further here since the two

concepts are central to this study.

About a decade after Hyman (1942) used the term,

Shibutani (1955:562-569) noted that although there was some

disagreement as to the meaning of the concept of reference

group, all discussions involved "some identifiable grouping

to which an actor is related in some manner and the norms

and values shared in that group." Further, Shibutani ob-

served that "reference groups, then, arise through the in-

ternalization of norms; they constitute the structure of

expectations imputed to some audience for whom one organ-

izes his conduct," and the outlook thus gained becomes the

actor's "orientation toward the world." Looking at the

description of the generalized other as given above, and at

Shibutani's definition of reference group, it appears that

the two concepts may be considered interchangeable. Any

difference seems to be one of focus rather than substance.

Whereas Mead was interested in how the self-concept operated

and developed within the specific individual, the researchers

who have used the concept of reference group have usually

been more concerned with the relation between that actor and

some real or imputed collectivity of others.

Correspondence between the two conceptualizations does

not stop there, however. The view taken by Mead that the

generalized other may be either abstract or concrete has

already been mentioned, but it may also be shown that refer-

ence groups have been conceived of in a like manner.

Shibutani (1955), again, suggested that reference groups

may vary greatly in composition, size, and structure. His

concept is broad enough to include groups involved in face-

to-face participation; social categories, such as social

classes or ethnic groups; imaginary or groups yet unborn,

such as "humanity" or "posterity"; or groups long dead, such

as an idealization of the chivalric code. Even more re-

cently, Kemper (1968) has observed that reference groups

"may be an actual group, a collectivity or aggregate, a

person, or a personification of an abstraction." Both of

these lists give examples which are suggestive of the same

basic dichotomy seen by Mead, that is, the concrete and the


Given the underlying similarities between the two con-

cepts, it may do them no damage to consider reference groups

as being either concrete or abstract, making explicit the

division implied in research illustrated in the lists above.

There is an additional element in the study of refer-

ence groups that it seems necessary to introduce at this

point. In addition to the type of reference group involved

(see Hartley, 1957; Paynton, 1966), be it abstract or concrete,

there is also the question of the function served by the

reference group. Here Harold Kelley's (1947) classic dis-

tinction between comparative and normative functions of

reference groups has been very widely utilized. A given

reference group may serve both of these functions or only

one of them.

In the comparative situation the individual uses the

group as a standard by which he may make evaluations of his

own situation or action. In his typology of reference groups,

Kemper (1968:33) said that the comparative function is domi-

nant in dealing with such issues as the "rightness" of the

actor's fate, the legitimacy of a given action or attitude,

the adequacy of a specific performance, or the "accommoda-

tion of one's acts to the acts of others." Examples of com-

parative utilization of reference groups might include the

woman of a given educational attainment who compares her

salary with that of her male counterpart, and the married

soldier of Merton and Kitt (1957) who saw his position as

inequitable when compared with married males not in the army.

In the normative case the group serves as the promul-

gator and enforcer of norms and values. Such groups are

pervasive in the individual's life and include such cate-

gories as the family, the work group, the religion, and the


It is now possible to relate these distinctions re-

garding reference groups to the development of the self.

Having noted the correspondences between the generalized

other and the concept of reference group, it may be con-

cluded that the self is developed in part through the inter-

actions of the individual with his specific reference groups.

Reference groups have, however, been shown to vary by both

type and function.

Variation in reference groups provides the basis for

the typology shown in Figure 1. Interaction with differing

kinds of reference groups should produce differing views of

the self. For example, the effect on the self of using an

abstract reference group for comparative functions will be

different from the changes developing out of comparisons

with a concrete reference group. Being able to specify un-

der what conditions, or in what manner, such differences in

orientation occur should ultimately help specify how the self

develops and changes through interaction.

The Professional's Reference Group

Of all the potential reference groups that an indi-

vidual might have, which ones seem important in helping de-

fine the self? Certainly the work group would seem to be an

important reference group for many. Studies in industrial

and occupational sociology dating from Roethlisberger and

Dickson (1939) have suggested this to be the case, though

the importance of the group varies depending on the type of

occupation. As Wilbert Moore (1969:861) stated, "of the

many role-constellations that the modern adult is called







Figure 1. A theoretical typology of reference groups and
their functions in self-concept.



upon to perform, few exceed in importance the acquisition of

requisite skills and attitudes for occupations. In modern-

ized societies, occupation represents a central place in life

organization for a vast majority. . ." The orientation of

an individual toward his work group as the basis for forming

his generalized other are of central importance for the in-

dividual's view of society and self and as such are worthy

of investigation.

The intent of this study is to investigate one variety

of occupations: the professions. Specifically, this study

investigates the way in which that abstract group which may

be called the sociology profession is utilized as a refer-

ence group by individual sociologists.

Viewing a profession as an abstract reference group, as

above, is certainly not without some foundation. Studies

such as those of Goldstein (1959) and Form and Geschwender

(1962) have suggested that the orientation of professionals

toward their work groups is different from the orientations

of other occupational groups. Prominent among the differ-

ences in orientation frequently mentioned is the idea of

commitment to a calling (Moore, 1969:867) or of loyalty to

a collectivity (Goode, 1957). And very much to the point,

Pavalko (1971), after reviewing the qualities of a profes-

sional-occupational continuum, observed that

the general idea of a professional community that func-
tions as a basis of identification and a major refer-
ence group for its members is a major dimension of
work. . These characteristics are more likely to

be a feature of work at the professional end of the
continuum while at the occupational end there is less
of a sense of identity with others in the same occu-
pation and the occupational culture is much more rudi-
mentary and less likely to exert normative control
over behavior of members (1971:24-25).

Not all professionals are entirely alike in their

reference group orientation. A study of college profes-

sors made by Gouldner (1957) identified two broad types

of social identities--cosmopolitans and locals. These two

are distinguished from each other on the basis of loyalty

to their employing organization, commitment to professional

skills, and reference group orientation.

In a second article Gouldner (1958:452) tried to re-

fine his rather rough categorizations and, in doing so,

was able to identify two types of cosmopolitans found in

bureaucratic settings. There are "those who simply use

their profession as a reference group and those who also

use a functional department within their organization as


The first type of cosmopolitan individual shows little

integration into either the formal or the informal struc-

ture of the organization. Such people are inclined to see

their current position as transitory and to feel that their

intellectual stimulation comes from colleagues elsewhere

rather than from local interactions.

Cosmopolitan individuals of the second type also carry

a commitment to their particular area of professional

competence and would be inclined to leave the whole organi-

zation with minimal enticement. These people are, however,

more integrated into the formal structure of the organiza-

tion. Specifically, they are committed to the department

which is representing their professional interests. Repre-

sentatives of either of these types are distinct from locals

who identify closely with the organization or in the im-

mediately surrounding environment.

Leaving aside the question of why certain profes-

sionals may be classified as locals, it is necessary to

ask why and how the reference group orientation among cos-

mopolitans differs and what the implications of such

differences may be. This study investigates the possi-

bility that such differences are contingent upon whether

the sociologist uses the profession primarily as a compara-

tive reference group or primarily as a normative reference


By what means is it possible for the professional, or

anyone else, to identify with an abstract reference group

or generalized other? According to Mead,

. social or group attitudes are brought within the
individual's field of direct experience and are in-
cluded as elements in the structure or constitution
of his self, in the same way that the attitudes of par-
ticular other individuals are; and the individual
arrives at them, or succeeds in taking them, by means
of further organizing, and then generalizing, the
attitudes of particular other individuals in terms of
their organized social bearings and implications.
So the self reaches its full development by organizing
these individual attitudes of others into the organized

social or group attitudes, and by thus becoming
an individual reflection of the general systematic
pattern of social or group behavior in which it and
the others are all involved . (1964:222).

In short, it is a cognitive process involving generalizing

from the attitudes, or actions, of specific significant-

other referent individuals.

For many professionals, however, these significant

others are widely dispersed throughout the country so that

interaction with, and support from, such referents is not

really accessible. In such situations the professional

reference group must be abstract, with the links between

professionals being maintained only through sporadic in-

formal ties or by more formal communications from the pro-

fessional association of the profession.

There are at least two situations which seem to

promote the adoption of an abstract reference group or as

Gouldner called it, the use of the "profession as a

reference group." Academic departments in colleges and

universities provide classic examples of the first type

(Pavalko, 1971:106), in which there is no one to provide

the individual with support, or sanction, regarding his

work as a professional. Since academic areas are spe-

cialized and technical, the professional may find that

none of his departmental colleagues are competent to

judge his work. Thus, he must seek recognition and

criticism in his particular sub-speciality from others

who are located in other academic situations throughout the

country or the world. He does, in fact, seek out compari-

son of his work with that being done by knowledgeable peers

and thus corresponds to Cell III in Figure 1.

The second type of situation may also be found in the

academic world. Here the professional may be an isolate,

or near isolate, with very little support for his discipline

in general, and practically none at all for his particular

speciality. The professional here is constantly pressured

to identify with the particular organization at hand rather

than to maintain his disciplinary orientation. He must turn

to his abstract reference group periodically for reaffirma-

tion of himself as a professional. He must learn anew the

norms, the expected responses, for one of "their kind." He

does, in fact, seek the normative function of his abstract

professional group and thus falls into Cell IV of Figure 1.

Instances of the comparative functions of an abstract

group may occur in a number of situations, but an obvious

instance is the department where prestige is an important

element in maintaining status and rank, and yet available

peers are not, strictly speaking, competent to judge an in-

dividual's work in the area. The second type of situation

may be important where the department is small or where in-

terdisciplinary tendencies are strong, so that the individual

receives little normative support from those present.

Similar situations exist in industry and government as

well as in academia. The metallurgical engineer in a

medium-size manufacturing firm, or the botanist in a state

department of agriculture, must also seek outside support

in order to maintain his professional identity against the

pressures of the organization (Pavalko, 1971:188-190).

The Convention

Given the abstract nature of the professional reference

group, it may seem that there is a problem for the profes-

sionals described above, or for any professional, in getting

the kind and amount of support needed. The solution lies in

a particular instance in which fairly large numbers of pro-

fessionals, significant for the individual, are brought to-

gether in a very concrete way. That instance is the pro-

fessional convention. The convention provides a unique op-

portunity for the self to achieve, in Mead's terms, full

development. It does so by affording the individual profes-

sional several separate assessments of the state of the pro-

fession and by becoming a context for generalizing those

views into a unique personal view of the profession or a

generalized other. As noted, however, cosmopolitan profes-

sionals orient themselves toward their reference group in

diverse manners. It seems to follow that the activities of

the convention serve a different function, depending on

whether a particular cosmopolitan used the professional con-

vention for normative or for comparative ends. Such differ-

ences have to be explored by taking into account various

situational factors unique to specific groups of professionals,

such as size and prestige of an academic department, as

mentioned above.

In summary, then, this research presumes, following

Gouldner, that there are differing types of cosmopolitan

orientation. But, where Gouldner focused on the relation-

ship of the cosmopolitan to his employing organization to

illustrate the differences, the emphasis here is on the dif-

ferent functions the outside reference group serves for the

cosmopolitan. Such a view seems justified, since the way in

which the cosmopolitan orients himself toward his outside

group may be just as important as the differences in the way

he orients himself toward his organizational group. Specifi-

cally, differences in the convention behavior of sociologists

are explored to determine how professional sociologists

differ in their use of the profession as a reference group.

The view taken is that the sociology profession is the out-

side, abstract group to which the cosmopolitan sociologist

orients himself, and that the professional convention is seen

as a concrete expression of the profession. As a reference

group experience, the convention can serve both normative

and comparative functions for the individual, and the acti-

vities of the convention are classified on the basis of the

function they serve. Determining differences in character-

istics of sociologists engaged in comparative functions as

compared to those engaged in normative functions may help

specify the situational factors involved in the individual's


reference group orientation, and by extension provide some

information about how differing views of the self can emerge

from differing reference group orientations. In addition,

the study may indicate how a person relates to an abstract

reference group, highlight the social-psychological functions

of professional conventions for their members, and test the

theoretical utility of viewing cosmopolitanism as divisible

on the basis of reference group orientation.



This chapter reviews the research that has been done on

the major topics related to this study: role theory, the

self, reference group theory, the cosmopolitan-local con-

ceptualization, and professional socialization and profes-

sional conventions.

Social-Psychological Foundations

Role Theory

One of the primary concerns in the social sciences has

been the attempt to specify the relationship between the

individual human being and the effect his group has upon

him. This concern has produced a variety of theories and

perspectives from both sociology and psychology. In an

attempt to synthesize these approaches, Deutsch and Krauss

(1965:4-5) divided social-psychological explanations of the

relation between man and group into four broad categories

of "orientations": the Gestalt view, the Freudian or psy-

choanalytic view, reinforcement theories, and role theory.

The point of view used here is essentially that held

by those labeled role theorists. This view promises to be

useful in understanding the topics under study; a brief

elaboration of some of the major concepts of this approach

may help illustrate its utility.

First, it should be noted that the concept of role is

an important one in both psychology and sociology. As

Rommetveit (1955:31) stated, role is "the largest possible

research unit within the former discipline and the smallest

possible within the latter." Elaboration on the concept

from either stance should ultimately aid the understanding

of man from the point of view of both disciplines, so while

the primary focus here is the "sociological" role, any

positive conclusions may also have implications for the

more psychological aspects of role touched on below.

In general, role theory holds that every culture has

a number of status positions, each of which carries with it

a set of norms or expectations for behavior which consti-

tutes a role. Each actor, of course, fills several roles

within his society. But, as Deutsch and Krauss (1965:179)

observed, "a person is an integrated and coherent whole

rather than merely the sum of a set of compartmentalized

roles." What is needed, they noted, is some conceptualiza-

tion which will take into account individual attributes that

are distinct from role behavior. Responses to this problem

have taken the form of two different, but perhaps comple-

mentary, conceptualizations: the personality and the


The personality, a rather elusive concept, is usually

envisioned as some form of ongoing intrapersonal dynamic en-

tity that has a reciprocal relation with role enactment. That

is, the characteristics of one's personality may change

because of the roles he carries out, but, at the same time,

the way a given role is enacted may vary depending on the

personality of the role incumbent.

The second conceptualization is the self, and it seems

to be more widely utilized by sociologists than the view of

personality, because the self is social in origin whereas

the concept of personality is only interactive with the

social, not created by it.

While the concept of self has become central to the

role theory approach, it has received little attention from

the Gestaltists, or any of the other social-psychological

approaches. The idea of the self does have a long and

varied history in more strictly psychological terms, however,

and it is helpful in gaining a broad view to look at the

role theorists' self in relation to the larger construct.

Theory and Research on the Self

The self is often envisioned as a cognitive structure

which develops out of the give and take of the individual

and his social environment, allowing that individual to see

himself as an object and to thereby develop attitudes toward

his own behavior and react accordingly. It should be noted

that considerable speculation and some experimentation has

been expended in trying to determine the social mechanics

by which the self develops. Among the major questions in-

volved are the following: how does one relate to specific

significant individuals, and which groups are used for

reference in adopting definitions (Deutsch and Krauss,

1965:172-182; James, 1892; Cooley, 1956; Mead, 1964).

William James, Charles Horton Cooley, and George

Herbert Mead were instrumental in the formation of the very

idea of self. James (1892) was one of the first to use the

concept of self, and he divided his creation into the "me"

(or the self as known) and the "I" (or the self as knower).

James posited three "me's": the spiritual, the material,

and the social. By the social "me," which grew out of rec-

ognition by others, James was giving support to the idea

that the self appears through social interaction. Cooley

(1956) echoed James's view but extended understanding of

the manner in which the self developed, through his concept

of the "looking-glass self."

The major task of trying to systematize and illuminate

the mechanisms through which the self emerges was left for

Geroge Herbert Mead (1964). Mead tried to build a theory

of human development by showing that the growth of the

unique human self was intimately linked to the growth of

language, the ability to symbolize, and, simultaneously, the

growth of the ability to take the role of others toward

oneself. It is this latter point which renders Mead so im-

portant for role theory, for he showed that role-taking

ability is intricately linked to the growth and change of

the self.

Mead's theories were not supported at the time of his

writing by any empirical evidence, although some of his con-

cepts have been cast into operational terms by recent re-

searchers. As noted in the previous chapter, Mead's idea

of the generalized other and its relation to the self may

also be thought of in terms of reference group concepts.

Since the early writings on the self by such men as

Mead, the concept has been used by a number of writers and

researchers. A little over a decade ago, Wylie (1961)

attempted to summarize and offer critical comment on writ-

ings using the concept of self in psychological research.

Her approach was quite thorough and included operationali-

zing the self-concept, solving problems of research design

and measurement, and summarizing studies about the self. In

systematizing her approach, Wylie (1961:118) divided studies

of the self into four broad categories: (1) descriptive

studies of the development of self, (2) studies in which the

self is the consequence of certain variables, (3) studies in

which the self influences certain behaviors, and (4) studies

in which the direction of influence between the variables

and the self is unspecified.

Given Wylie's report on the broad array of topics and

areas that have been studied regarding the self, it seems

clear that the one of interest here is not the only vantage

point for study of the self. As categorized by Wylie, the

role theorist's interest is in studies concerned with the

way in which other variables affect the self. But, while

the relation between self and interaction with others is

considered a "theoretically crucial class of relationships"

(Deutsch and Krauss, 1965), the utility of this class of

studies to psychological theory remains questionable, be-

cause most of the studies undertaken involve the relation

between self and "role status variables," which are socio-

logical constructs that do not relate well to psychological

constructs (Wylie, 1961). This suggests that, while re-

search on the self approached from a sociological viewpoint

is recognized by psychologists as dealing with the same

phenomenon they investigate, the results of these separate

investigations do not fit together well in a broad theory

of human behavior. It may be concluded then that, while the

sociological role theorists' view of the self is related to

the larger body of self research, the nature of that re-

lationship has yet to be specified.

Leaving behind, then, this broader universe of research,

and focusing more directly on the use of the self by role

theorists in sociology, what more can be said about the self

as an object of research? In order to answer that question,

the following section draws heavily on the work of Leonard

Cottrell, whose writings have followed the development of

research on the self for nearly forty years.

As early as 1933 Leonard Cottrell wrote an article on

marital relations using an interactional approach and

implying the presence of a self. Looking back over the

decades of the 1930's and 1940's in his Presidential Address

to the American Sociological Society in 1950, Cottrell

(1950:713) was able to assert that there had been, since his

earlier article, several areas of the broad interactional

approach which had been neglected and which required atten-

tion. Those areas were emphatic responses, the situation,

motivation, and the self. Cottrell did note that discus-

sions of the self had increased in the years just previous,

but he insisted that the research undertaken had produced

little of significance due, in part, to neglect of the

writings of Mead, Sullivan, and others in this tradition.

Cottrell then called for investigation in several areas

dealing with the self in order to rectify this lack of

empirical research. As a start, he suggested dealing with

such areas as the following:

(1) determination of what kinds of self emerge

from what specific interactional contexts;

(2) investigation into why a particular self-

other system persists;

(3) systematic investigation of change in self-

other systems;

Cottrell also noted that in the previous year the
new president of the American Psychological Association,
E. R. Hilgard, had somewhat belatedly accorded the social
self the status of "a legitimate object of attention by
reputable scientists."

(4) exploration of the concept of "multiple-


(5) determination of why a person accepts a cer-

tain significant-other model over any other


(6) determination of how a person identifies with

a group symbol or exploration of the link with

the generalized other.

Another twenty years later, Cottrell (1969) apparently

still felt that a good deal of work needed to be done on the

interactional approach, especially as related to the idea

of the self. The purpose of this most recent essay was "to

clarify what is denoted by the term 'self' and to suggest

how it emerges, develops and functions. Such suggestions

could hopefully be sources of explicit hypotheses for

empirical testing" (Cottrell, 1969:543).

Clearly, Cottrell still saw more problems than answers

as regards the interactional mode of analysis. He did,

however, believe that the basic view held by Mead, that

actors include and react to the responses of others, had

been generally validated. (See also the discussion in

Chapter I.) Problems, however, arise in specifying the

exact conditions under which differential incorporation of

responses takes place.

The basic problems in discussing the self are two-fold.

First is the tendency to view the self as an object rather

than a process. Second is the problem of methodology in

relation to the self. The sociological requirement of

objective measurement has met with little success in this

latter area, since the nature of the self-process is not

readily amenable to direct observation. Even beyond these

problems are four others that, though not as central, are

still important for elaborating on the self (Cottrell,


One problem is that of ambiguity and distortion of

self-perception. Whether an actor's perceptions are ac-

curate, and how this influences subsequent acts, is a ques-

tion of some importance. A related topic is the extension

of an existing self onto a new situation and the subsequent

alterations that must be made in the perception of self

and other because of that extension.

A second problematic area is that of the concept of

multiple-self systems and the conflicts that such multi-

plicity may foster. Questions of how several different

"sub-selves" are organized and related in a broader struc-

ture are as yet unanswered.

Third is the broad problem of specifying the relation-

ship between the observed behavior, the variations in the

situations in which the person participates, and the readi-

ness, or lack of it, with which the actor changes his

actions and, accordingly, alters his self-other system.

Finally, and most important for the present work, is

the problem of management of conflict and the achievement

of consistency within the individual. The point at issue

concerns two related, but analytically distinct, sub-

problems. The first kind of consistency problem seldom

occurs and involves the situation where an actor is called

on to display two different, but not necessarily contra-

dictory, self-roles simultaneously. The second, more common

problem involves a consistency situation in which the actor

is required to act in two different roles at the same time.

It appears, according to Cottrell (1969:555), that resolu-

tion of such conflicts can take such psychological responses

as either compartmentalization and insulation or some differ-

ential commitment to the role involved. An alternative

interpretation concerning the control or minimalization of

such conflicts turns on the principle of consistency in

self-other relations. The basic argument of this last view

is that the individual's acts and role fulfillment will be

fairly consistent with whatever view of the general goals

and norms of the group he holds internally. In short, the

actor's view of the generalized other will render the

chances for role conflict unlikely by providing a consistent

standard indicating the response required.

Such a view as that presented above may, as Cottrell

noted, raise as many questions as it answers. Two such

questions come readily to mind. The first is whether all

people have the same view of the generalized other. Obvi-

ously they do not. Work by Estus (1966) suggested that

the generalized other of some may be seen as an embodied or

personified ideal figure with which the actor holds a dis-

course. He also noted that the generalized other may be an

abstraction not embodied in anyone or any group. This point

has already been touched on in the previous chapter in re-

gard to the generalized other of the professional. The

situational factors which produce such variations thus pro-

vide an interesting research topic.

The second question raised is this: if it is acknowl-

edged that there may be multiple selves, or multiple roles

to be filled, is it not also reasonable to assume multiple

generalized others? If that is accepted, then we still have

the problem of conflict, for we do not know which other will

dominate in a situation. This problem, for Cottrell, leads

to the question of whether there is a central self-system,

including, of course, a central generalized other, which

takes precedence over some lesser selves and others. The

study by Estus (1966) provides support for this idea of a

central self-system in a majority of the subjects he stud-

ied. Interestingly, however, there were a few people stud-

ied by Estus who showed no evidence of such a system.

Should additional research support Estus's findings, however,

along with specifying which selves are frequently seen as

central, a major step will have been taken toward solving

the problem of how the individual manages role conflict

and maintains consistency.

Cottrell's work on the topic of the self, over four

decades, suggests that he was probably aware of major trends

in the area, and yet, in his most recent article, Cottrell

(1969) provided almost no specific conclusions reached from

studies of the self and, in fact, he framed his presentation

as he did twenty years earlier (Cottrell, 1950) in terms of

areas and questions still to be investigated. About all

that can be said in a positive vein is that at each juncture

the kinds of problem areas Cottrell puts forth have been

more specific. Increasingly, then, the topic has been

investigated, but the results have been more detailed ques-

tions rather than specific answers. Cottrell (1969:567)

remained confident, however, that answers are forthcoming

and that "we may be reasonably confident that conceptuali-

zations and research designs will show increasing sophisti-

cation concerning the structure and dynamics of interactive

situational fields . ," including, of course, elaboration

of the idea of the self.

Wylie (1961:38-39), in her broader review of studies

of the self, reached much the same conclusion as that

gleaned from Cottrell: that social science has not made a

great deal of progress in its investigation of the self.

Her criticism is important because it is based on an in-

tensive review of empirical research on the self. One of

the major problems she noted (Wylie, 1961:110-113) is in

the design of measuring instruments of the self. While some

problems are unique to specific measures, the problem of

consistent terminology is one that plagues all these mea-

sures. Lack of standard terminology leaves open the ques-

tion of what is really measured, no matter what label the

creator of an instrument happens to assign to whatever he

is studying. The second measurement problem Wylie noted is

a lack of construct validity, with almost all of the measures

she reviewed lacking in this area. In a separate, but re-

lated, article Wylie (1968) concluded that the concept of

self has been so widely used to cover so many mental pro-

cesses that, perhaps, it has lost its analytical usefulness.

She also reiterated that research results have been disap-

pointing, not only because of theoretical problems, but also

because of gaps in research design and measurement as noted


While Wylie's view of the usefulness of the self as a

concept seems unduly pessimistic, there is clearly no one

measure of the self that is widely used and that has shown

itself to be without problems. This situation is certainly

not for want of trying. The publication Tests in Print

(Buros, 1961), which serves as an index for the Mental

Measurements Yearbook (Buros, 1959), shows that ten years

ago there were 408 different tests constructed to investi-

gate various elements of personality and character.

Although only a part of these deal with the self, or aspects

of it, none has shown itself to be without problems.

While the importance of self as a theoretical concept

central to role theory cannot be disregarded, the lack of

empirical measures useful for this study requires that a

somewhat different viewpoint also used by the role theorists

be explored. Although the self will not, therefore, be an

object of direct attention hereafter, the broader role

theory of which it is a part will be retained. Much of

what follows assumes, however, that the self is a viable

concept, and attempts will be made later to illustrate the

links between this theoretical view and the data at hand.

An alternative viewpoint related to role theory, which

addresses itself to some of the same problem areas covered

by the self, is the reference group approach. The questions

asked are somewhat different from those covered by the

studies of self, but perhaps this approach will provide

more explicit help in regard to the relations between man

and his groups.

In Chapter I Mead's idea was reviewed: that the self,

or selves, take form in part from interaction with others.

During this discussion the idea was also developed that

there is a fairly direct, if usually unrecognized, corre-

spondence between the conceptualization of the generalized

other and the conceptualization of reference group. In

loose operational-terms, both of these may be seen as a


social grouping which provides cues for the actor's atti-

tudes and actions. It now seems desirable to develop the

reference group view further, since it is impractical to

pursue the investigation of the generalized other solely

from a Meadian view because of the tenuous results of

self research.

The Reference Group Approach

General Review

At the outset, there are three major problems apparent

in reviewing the development of the concept of reference

group. First, from its initial conception by Hyman (1942)

the concept has achieved what Turner (1956) called "meteoric

prominence," and the proliferation of works utilizing the

concept makes simply listing them, let alone making an ex-

haustive review of them, difficult. Second, a plethora of

related concepts has been developed to explain various

aspects of the reference group approach. These include,

among others (Hyman and Singer, 1968), such ideas as com-

parative and normative groups (Kelley, 1947), positive and

negative reference groups (Newcomb, 1950), preference group

(Jackson, 1959), referent power (French and Raven, 1959),

anticipatory socialization (Merton and Kitt, 1957), and

relative deprivation (Stouffer, 1949). Third, investigative

measures used seem to be nearly as prolific as those aimed

at seeking the self and to have some of the same problems

as those instruments.

Fortunately, the development of reference group theory

seems to be at a point when attempts at synthesizing the

field and drawing together disparate elements are beginning

to take place. The discussion that follows is based largely

on two of these sources. The first work was co-authored by

Herbert H. Hyman, originator of the term reference group,

and one of his associates, Eleanor Singer (1968). Their

contribution is a collection of the classic and more recent,

but central, writings in the area and these show a variety

of viewpoints. The second more ambitious and ultimately,

probably, more useful and important work is by Raymond L.

Schmitt (1972), whose book attempts to organize the numerous

concepts in the area and expand them into a general typology

of the reference-other orientation.

The main ideas involved in the reference group concept

were propounded long before the term itself was first pub-

lished in 1942 by Hyman. Schmitt (1972) identified two

areas of study which have played a part in the current

understanding of the concept but have been influential at

different times.1 These two disparate views come from psy-

chology and symbolic interactionism.

Schmitt actually identifies three influences, but the
third view is so diffuse and widespread in the sociological
literature that Schmitt has a difficult time presenting it.
The point of this third view, as reflected in the works of
Sumner (1960), Cooley (1956), and H. S. Sullivan (1940), is
that "all aspects of the social environment are not of
equal importance" (Schmitt, 1972:29).

Contributions of Psychology to the
Reference Group Approach

Hyman's seminal article, entitled "The Psychology of

Status" (1942), derived its theoretical underpinnings from

the psychological realm. Hyman sought "to understand the

way individuals ranked themselves in terms of their choice

of a social framework for comparison . ." (Hyman and

Singer, 1968:5). This article was based specifically on

the concept of the psychological frame of reference which,

according to Schmitt (1972:22), along with the ideas of

social facilitation and levels of aspiration, constitutes

the major contribution of psychology to our understanding

of reference group.

Prior psychological investigations, in exploring indi-

vidual levels of aspiration, had suggested that individuals

and groups have to be credited with some influence on the

individual's level of aspiration. Chapman and Volkmann

(1939) were the first to specifically include a person's

others in their analysis of aspiration. Following such

early writings, Hyman's article (1942) became the sine qua

non of reference group theory in that it explored the link

between the psychological and the sociological factors. The

article itself involved determining the subjective status

perceptions of the individual and the relations of such per-

ceptions to radical political attitudes and other dependent

variables (Hyman, 1942).

The other psychological concept mentioned is not as

important as the frame of reference idea. Allport's concept

of social facilitation (1954) had only a secondary influence

on Hyman and was rarely used in dealing specifically with

reference groups. It is worthy of mention for two reasons,

however. First, it did have an effect on Hyman since it

represents an area of psychological study which takes into

account the presence of others in task performance, thereby

suggesting that other actors were important for study. Sec-

ondly, the underlying idea that emulation or competition

with present others is important has been the basis for the

growth of comparative reference group studies in the social

comparison branch of the field psychologists discussed in

the first part of this chapter (Schmitt, 1972:22-25).

Interestingly, the psychological roots of the reference

group concept noted by Hyman have remained undeveloped to

any great degree. With the exceptions of the social com-

parison theorists mentioned above, and the writings noted

below, reference group investigation has largely become the

domain of sociologists, with special input coming from the

symbolic interactionists.

The work of Theodore Newcomb, on attitude changes of

students at Bennington College, represents something of a

transition from a more strictly psychological view (Newcomb,

1943) to a more sociological interpretation utilizing a

reference group view (Newcomb, 1958). Newcomb's work was

the first to combine the study of a social structure and

related reference groups. In addition, Newcomb was the

first to examine empirically the normative function of ref-

erence groups although that label was not specifically used.

The work of Stouffer et al. (1949) on the American

soldier, especially as they dealt with the concept of rela-

tive deprivation, may also be viewed as a transitional work.

Not only did relative deprivation contain the germ for the

study of comparative reference groups, but it also served

as an important idea in the seminal work of Merton and Kitt

(later Rossi) in relating the reference group view to socio-

logical theory (1957).

Other psychologists who have made contributions to

reference group theory include Muzafer Sherif and Hadley

Cantril (1947), who gave consideration to the importance of

reference groups in attitude formation, Eugene Hartley

(1951), who brought attention to the potential conflict

within the individual caused by multiple group membership,

and Ruth Hartley (1957, 1960a, 1960b), who has explored the

relation between personal characteristics and acceptance of

reference groups.

Contributions of Symbolic Interaction
to the Reference Group Approach

While important, the contribution of early symbolic

interactionists to reference group theory is less direct

than that of the psychologists. Hyman's orientation was

toward psychology, and he drew on materials related to that


field to provide a theoretical base for his concept. Only

after his article had made concrete the concept of reference

group did others familiar with the symbolic interactionist

perspective illustrate that the early interactionists had

been interested, albeit with a more theoretical emphasis,

in the same topic.

In broadest terms the interactionists contributed to

reference group theory in terms of rather basic theoretical

ideas: the inevitability and pre-eminence of personal

interactive relationships for the very existence of the

individual; reflexive self-assessment; and the importance

of symbolic others, both specific and generalized (Schmitt,


The first point mentioned above is the same one that

was stressed in both Chapter I and the early part of this

chapter: that man is a product, at least in part, of inter-

actions with others. This idea is central to symbolic

interaction (Mead, 1964) and is a part, also, of the ref-

erence group as Hyman saw it. The concept of reference

group is founded on that same assumption, that the actor is

a product of his social environment and that others involved

are a critical factor in that production. This is the same

point made by Cooley, Mead, and many others.

The second point revolves around the role of the other

in judging one's activities. This topic, as noted above, is

central to Mead's writings on socialization and in Cooley's

-- -I

concept of the looking-glass self. The actor judges his

actions on the basis of how he believes others see him.

This point has found expression in reference group theory

under the rubric of the "comparative reference group" which

is, as Kelley (1947:410) defined it, a term to "denote a

group which the person uses as a reference point in making

evaluation of himself and others."

The interactionist's view of the symbolic nature of

the other has also proved important for reference group

theory. The actor's ability to take the views of non-

present others into account through some form of "internal

conversation" is the major contribution for reference group

theory in this area. Turner's (1956) concept of the audi-

ence reference group utilized the idea of the symbolic other

rather directly, for example, while the idea of non-member-

ship reference groups may be traced to this idea of the

symbolic other too, although in a less direct manner.

Finally, the link between the concepts of generalized

other and reference group should be noted. This link has

been commented on at length in Chapter I, but a few words

are in order here also. The generalized other has been

viewed as almost synonymous with Kelley's (1947) concept of

the normative reference group (Shibutani, 1955: Krause,

1971), and the normative reference group has been the major

focus of sociological investigation from the reference group

perspective (Hyman, 1960). This relationship is particularly

important for this study.

From this brief review of the contributions of the

symbolic interactionists to the study of reference groups,

it should be apparent that there is a broad connection be-

tween the role theorists' view of the self and the concerns

of the reference group theorists. The difference is, as

might be expected, one of emphasis. The two points of view

obviously have some common intellectual background, since

the names of the same men appear in the citations of both.

The difference is that the role theorists have focused on

influences resulting within the individual in interaction,

while reference group theorists have been concerned with

the qualities of the group and its relationship to the in-

dividual from a collective view. Clearly, neither point of

view by itself represents the whole truth about human action.

While this study is interested in the individual's

self it is also interested in the group relations affecting

that self. Since there seems little chance, given the state

of research on the self, of approaching the relation between

the sociologist's self and his group relations directly, it

is necessary to explore such relations by looking at group

interactions. Direct study of reference group relationships

seems to show promise for understanding the individual's

behavior and, indirectly, understanding of his self. The

following pages therefore explore the reference group ap-

proach in greater detail.

Contemporary Developments in the
Reference Group Approach

For sociology, the article by Robert Merton and Alice

Kitt (later Rossi) (1957) is as theoretically important as

Hyman's article. Their reinterpretation of Stouffer's The

American Soldier (1949) in terms of reference group behavior

introduced the concept to many sociologists and linked it to

sociological theory, particularly to the functional approach.

Among other topics reviewed, Merton and Kitt were concerned

with relative deprivation, especially as it concerns the

type of reference group selected, the related problem of

multiple reference groups, the structure of the social sys-

tem that leads one group to be selected over another, and

the uniformities of behavior that emerge from such selection.

In studying relative deprivation, Merton and Kitt were led

to utilize a comparative reference group perspective. As

they saw it, a soldier (or other actor) feels deprived or

advantaged relative to three different groups or social

categories with which he compares himself. First are those

with whom he has sustained social relations, second are

those of the same status or social category, third are those

of a different status or social category. The authors

hastened to add, however, that most of the cases they re-

viewed compared themselves to some combination of these,

raising the issue of how one might relate to multiple ref-

erence groups. Pointing out, also, that the categories

above reflect both membership and non-membership groups,

Merton and Kitt raised what they considered to be a central

question for reference group theory: "under which condi-

tions are associates within one's own groups taken as a

frame of reference for self-evaluation and attitude-forma-

tion, and under which conditions do out-groups or non-

membership groups provide the significant frame of reference

(Merton and Kitt, 1957:239). That is, what are the parti-

cular dynamics of reference group selection?

Merton and Kitt argued that reference group selection

is dependent on the "structure of the social situation."

Selection is thus based on frames of reference held in

common with a sufficiently large proportion of people within

the social category under study. This common frame emerges,

with allowance for individual idiosyncrasies, from a shared

socially structured situation. Finally, Merton and Kitt

reassessed The American Soldier data and illustrated that

those entering a group tend to seek out and conform to the

values of the "authoritative and prestigeful stratum" in

the group. As they conform they are accepted; the greater

their acceptance, the greater the reinforcement of their


Merton and Kitt did not explicitly define their con-

ceptualization of reference group. Such a definition does

seem implicit, however, in their comment that the aims of

reference group theory are to "systematize the determinants

and consequences of those processes of evaluation and

self-appraisal in which the individual takes the values or

standards of other individuals and groups as a comparative

frame of reference (Merton and Kitt, 1957:240).

Following Merton and Kitt, the number of theoretical

writings on reference groups has expanded rapidly and become

difficult to follow. Having enumerated thirty-eight "cog-

nate concepts" applied to reference group investigation,

Schmitt (1972:41-44) observed that, although a great number

of empirical studies have been done, the literature remains

"scattered and diffuse." In spite of this, there are at

least three important works on reference groups which de-

serve review and these three are treated below.

The Functions of Reference Groups

One of the seminal articles is that by Harold H. Kelley

(1947) regarding the two functions of reference groups. In

reviewing works of Merton, Sherif, and Newcomb, Kelley con-

cluded that reference groups usually either set and enforce

norms for the individual, or the group serves as a point of

comparison with one's own actions. The first type was

labeled the normative and the second, the comparative. For

Kelley, these two functions represent the motivational and

the perceptual aspects of the reference group which may

ultimately be linked to more general theories of behavior

about the sources and nature of standards set by the indi-

vidual. Implicit, also, in Kelley's view of the normative

function is the idea of identification with the group, but

this concept has been viewed elsewhere as a separate func-

tion (see Hyman and Singer, 1968:15; Schmitt, 1972:61-62).

Kelley's distinction was readily adopted by most

investigators, who utilized it as a background for their

own work. While Kelley observed that any broad theory of

reference group must deal with both the normative and com-

parative aspects, since both may be found in the same group,

most studies have focused on only one or the other, with the

comparative aspect receiving much greater attention overall.

Works representing studies of the comparative function in-

clude Festinger, 1954; Patchen, 1961; Runciman, 1968; and

Strauss, 1968; the normative aspects have been investigated

by Hartley, 1960a; Festinger et al., 1950; and Eisenstadt,


In reviewing the comparatively oriented studies cited

above, and some others, Hyman and Singer (1968:115-122)

found the recurring generalization that individuals take as

comparison points those to whom they are close. Such

"closeness" however, may be in terms of some perceived

similarities or in terms of propinquity, or both. Note that

these two reflect the theoretical divisions made by Merton

and Kitt above.

Citing Newcomb's (1968) follow-up work on Bennington

collegians who selected as referents those with congruent

values, and Ruth Hartley's (1960b) work on pre-membership

perceived values and group acceptance, Hyman and Singer

(1968:120) noted that similarity and propinquity are impor-

tant determining factors in normative reference group selec-

tion and acceptance. Additional variables are also identi-

fiable, however. Ruth Hartley (1957), again, noted that a

"variable personal quality" related to ease of interpersonal

relations and authoritarian submission (to group values) is

a factor in adopting a normative reference group. Merton

(1957) found two other variables related to a normative

reference group. First is the degree of "rootedness" in

the community involved and, second, career success in terms

of the local community or in terms of some larger group.

In short, Merton opened up the cosmopolitan-local concep-

tualization for study. In order to place Merton's article

in proper perspective, its review will be delayed until

after a discussion of the work of Schmitt.

The Reference Other Orientation

Schmitt's work (1972) is included here for three rea-

sons. First, it drew together the major and minor works in

the study of reference groups and attempted to synthesize

them in order to enhance their theoretical usefulness.

Second, it shows some original thought on the subject in

its own right. And third, it is very recent, and for that

reason gives as current a statement as can be obtained on

the state of reference group studies.

The work by Raymond L. Schmitt (1972), entitled The

Reference Other Orientation, reflects a broad intent to deal

with a wider range of concepts than just the reference

group. After reviewing the history of the development of

reference group studies, Schmitt (1972:49-51) presented an

inductively derived typology based on three elements: the

reference other, the reference relationship, and the ref-

erence individual.

The first factor he considered is the reference other

which influences the individual. This other may be an indi-

vidual, a quasi-empirical referent, or a totally imaginary

one. As quasi-empirical, Schmitt included several elements

such as the reference group, the reference category, the

reference norm, the reference self, and the reference object.

The second factor is the reference relationship which

specifies the type and scope of influence the other has over

the individual. Schmitt identified three types of relation-

ships: the normative, the comparative, and the identifica-


The third factor Schmitt discussed is the reference

individual who is the object of the relation. Here Schmitt

dealt with the individual's perception and awareness of the


This schema is rich with possibilities for research,

and of those possibilities two are of special importance

here. These topics of interest are Schmitt's observations

on what he labels an "identification-object" relation, and,

also, his comments on the nature of the reference group.

In his notion of identification-object relationship,

Schmitt has gone beyond Kelley's normative-comparative

dichotomy by identifying the particular relationship that

involves some positive or negative sentiment on the part of

the actor toward the particular reference object. As noted

previously, Kelley subsumed this element of identifying with

the group or person under his normative category. He rea-

soned that identification with the group is a logical and

perhaps necessary antecedent of the internalization of

norms. Schmitt took issue with this because a person may

be influenced normatively before he identifies with a group,

or a person may identify with a group but not be normatively

affected, or the group in and of itself may be important

for the person as an affective object.

Although Schmitt did not suggest the similarity, it

seems that the element discussed above is very much like the

cathectic element described by Parsons and Shils (1951:4-5)

in their outline of the modes of motivational orientation in

the theory of action. While Schmitt's point seems well

taken, therefore, in raising a usually implicit element, it

should be added that reference objects seem to occur only

rarely in actual fact, as simple identification objects.

Such identification very frequently occurs, rather, in com-

bination with the normative influences, as suggested by

Kelley. Or, in Parsons and Shils (1951:5) broader context,

"the tendency of the organism toward integration requires

the assessment and comparison of immediate cognized objects

and cathectic interests in terms of their remoter conse-

quences for the larger unit of evaluation."

In view of this rather broad and strong correlation

between identification and the normative influences involved,

it seems reasonable to maintain Kelley's distinction between

comparative and normative functions even while admitting

that Schmitt's three-dimensional approach makes some theo-

retical refinement possible in certain cases.

The second part of Schmitt's typology which merits

comment here involves the "nature" of the reference group.

Schmitt (1972:52-55) identified as one type of reference

other a quasi-empirical other which has five sub-types in-

cluding the reference group and the reference category. The

reference group in Schmitt's terms is an "actual" group,

either primary or secondary, that has an influence on an

individual, while a reference category is a "social or

statistical category" that is influential. A social category,

as Schmitt observed using Bierstedt's (1963) terminology,

is a number of individuals who have a shared characteristic,

awareness of which promotes a "consciousness of kind," while

The case at hand does not seem to be one of those
which would profit from such a refinement. Since the pop-
ulation under study is professional, it seems unnecessary
to separate the two functions. The very definition of a
professional includes the idea of identification with a
"group." Such a distinction may be very useful with other
populations, however.

a "statistical category" has some common but unapprehended

characteristic. These are not real, concrete "group" in-

fluences, although they have been treated as such in the


As was noted in Chapter I, Mead made a distinction

between abstract and concrete generalized others. Following

Krause (1971), this distinction was then extended by label-

ing reference groups as concrete or abstract. These two

terms seem to be analogous to Schmitt's reference group

and reference category, thus strengthening the logic of

Chapter I in this regard.

Additionally, the importance of an abstract reference

group embodying the "profession" was also noted in Chapter

I. Schmitt's use of "consciousness of kind" in regard to

reference categories suggests anew the foundation for the

"loyalty of a collectivity" element of a profession, thus

supporting the case further.

Schmitt's typology, then, seems to echo to some degree

the distinctions made in the previous chapter. Schmitt

also noted that topics for further study in the area of ref-

erence categories include the type of influence they have

and their importance relative to other reference types.

This study provides some empirically grounded information

contributing to greater understanding of those areas.

The Reference Group Approach
and Community Influentials

Merton's chapter on "Patterns of Influence: Local and

Cosmopolitan Influentials" (1957:387-420) has been reserved

for last in this discussion of contributions to reference

group theory, because the work represents a transition to

the related, but distinct, topic of cosmopolitan-local

orientation which must be reviewed in some detail.

In attempting to assess the importance of mass communi-

cation on interpersonal relations, Merton (1957:406-410)

found it necessary to extend the then current theoretical

constructs to explain his findings. In the town of "Rovere,"

he was able to identify two major types of community influ-

entials--cosmopolitans and locals. Though the types, as

such, were widely recognized in sociology, these particular

labels were taken by Merton from Carle Zimmerman who used

the terms elsewhere as translations for Tonnies'Gemeinschaft

and Gesellschaft.

Merton (1957:393) found that the major difference be-

tween the cosmopolitan and the local lies in their differing

orientations toward the community. Orientation was defined

as being a general "theme" underlying a role set filled by

an individual. All other differences between the types stem

from these differing orientations. Although not able to

specify the "objective determinants" of these differences,

Merton noted that each type corresponds to differences of

involvement in the structure of the community's social re-

lations, in career patterns, in the use of status for exer-

cising influence, and in communications behavior.

The local orientation shows a pattern of great attach-

ment to the community and extensive use of networks of per-

sonal relations as the foundation of individual influence.

Also, the local tends to participate in organizations which

help extend this interpersonal net. Additionally, the occu-

pational career of the local tends to be intimately tied to

the particular community for an extended period of time.

In contrast, the cosmopolitan was characterized as gain-

ing status based on what he knows while sharing relations

with a few select individuals within the community and others

outside the community. His career pattern shows a propensity

to migrate, and his choice of voluntary organizations is

usually related to use of individual skills or knowledge.

In general, then, the cosmopolitan looks to relations

with the world outside the community while the local is

interested to a much greater degree in the community itself.

The concepts of rootedness and career pattern, as men-

tioned earlier, are obviously of importance here. Addition-

ally, Merton claimed that the element of participation in

more formal settings is involved in distinguishing the two

orientations. He stated:

From all this we can set out the hypothesis
that participation in voluntary associations has
somewhat different functions for cosmopolitans and
local influentials. Cosmopolitans are concerned
with associations primarily because of the activi-
ties of these organizations . . Locals are pri-
marily interested in associations not for their
activities, but because these provide a means for
extending personal relationships. The basic

orientations of local and cosmopolitan influentials
are thus diversely expressed in organizational be-
havior as in other respects (1957:399).

While Merton's hypothesis may be true in general, it has

already been argued and will be supported further later,

that cosmopolitans use groups to serve the same functions

as those provided for the locals. The groups to which the

cosmopolitans turn, however, are outside the community.

Hence, the scope of Merton's study was too restricted to

capture the reference groups of that study's cosmopolitans.

In summary, this last section has dealt with the growth

and expansion of the reference group concept. The theoreti-

cal functions of reference groups have been traced through

Kelley, the abstract and concrete nature of the reference

other has been outlined via the work of Schmitt, and Merton's

work on cosmopolitan-local types of reference group orien-

tation has been discussed. All of these elements have been

linked to, and lend general support to, the arguments pre-

sented in Chapter I leading up to a discussion of the ref-

erence group orientation of professional sociologists and

the functions served by such reference groups in a conven-

tion setting.

The Cosmopolitan-Local Orientation

It will serve well at this point to recapitulate and

expand on the cosmopolitan-local dichotomy in general and

its relation to the professional in particular.

General Review of the Cosmopolitan-Local Orientation

Since Merton, the local-cosmopolitan typology has been

used by many researchers, both as a general typology of

actors' orientations and, in a more limited sense, as a way

of analyzing the orientation of professionals. Those who

have attempted a general application of the cosmopolitan-

local typology have found that making it operational is

problematic. Beale (1959), in investigating Great Books

Program participants, found the uni-dimensional assumptions

of cosmopolitanism-localism to be insufficient for explaining

the activities of individuals of high education or social

status. Abrahamson (1965) also found the assumption of

uni-dimensionality to be questionable in his attempt to re-

late cosmopolitan orientation and geographic mobility. Dye

(1963) has used the distinction with greater success by

developing a general five-item cosmopolitan-local scale

useful in his study of urban politics.

Broader theoretic attempts to provide a generic bias

for the terms involved have met with varied success, as did

the empirical studies outlined above. Dye (1963), discussed

above, and Thielbar (1966) have both suggested that "scope"

and "scale" of reference group are distinguishing character-

istics of cosmopolitan and local, but both failed to opera-

tionalize their terms. Recently, however, Krause (1971) has

made a systematic attempt to generalize the categories of

cosmopolitan and local and to identify sub-types, using for

cosmopolitans the variables of prestige of the group, social

commitment, and the degree of social interaction. His con-

ceptualization will be treated in some detail later.

Related specifically to professionals, the work of

Gouldner has already been mentioned in Chapter I. Briefly,

having identified professors in bureaucratic settings as

cosmopolitan and local, Gouldner (1958:445) then went on to

distinguish four types of locals and two types of cosmopoli-

tans. The cosmopolitans were distinguished primarily on the

basis of their reference group.

Other attempts to operationalize the cosmopolitan-local

typology when applied only to professionals have met with

mixed results. Bennis et al. (1958) found that the typology

was not applicable to a nursing group in an out-patient

clinic and suggested that the typology may only be appli-

cable where there is a strong professional organization.

Goldberg et al. (1965) found the concept to be multi-dimen-

sional rather than uni-dimensional when they studied a group

of engineers. Glaser (1964) concluded that scientists may

have a dual orientation (i. e., be both cosmopolitan and

local) if the goal of their particular organization happens

to be close to that of the profession at large. In reviewing

the uni-dimensional and multi-dimensional arguments, Fletcher

(1969) found that cosmopolitanism can have construct validity

and may be considered uni-dimensional for professionals in

professional organizations and multi-dimensional for

professionals in business organizations. All of these re-

sults can be classified as negative in relation to the sup-

port of a general cosmopolitan-local typology.

Other findings have been more positive. Reissman

(1949), in a study of forty middle-level bureaucrats, was

able to identify what he termed "functional bureaucrats"

whose qualities parallel those of the cosmopolitan. Caplow

and McGee (1958) found an implicit recognition of the typ-

ology on the part of those involved in the recruitment pro-

cess of college faculty. Wilensky's study (1956) of intel-

lectuals in labor unions also identified a professional

group oriented to a group outside the particular union under

study. Blau and Scott (1962), in their study of social

workers, modified the typology by introducing two inter-

mediate types based on significance of commitment to skills.

Recently Hetherinton (1971) has utilized the dichotomy suc-

cessfully in showing medical doctors to be similar to other

professionals in their cosmopolitanism.

Despite the variability in usage and findings pre-

sented above, the use of the cosmopolitan-local dichotomy

persists. Apparently the scheme identifies some important,

but as yet unstandardized, element in an individual's orien-


The Cosmopolitan-Local Orientation
and the Reference Group Approach

It seems fairly clear that the cosmopolitan-local orien-

tation in fact reflects a difference in reference groups.

Merton's (1957) original analysis, discussed above, implied

this point. Gouldner's analysis (1957), as previously

noted, also used reference group orientation as a major

element in distinguishing the two types. Krause (1971:121),

too, clearly accepted the idea that cosmopolitanism and

localism are reference group designations.

Part of the definitional problem seems to stem from the

fact that such reference group association has been confused

with other factors intimately linked with, but not a neces-

sary part of, a basic definition.

Merton reflects the point when he notes that

The chief criterion for distinguishing the two (types)
is found in their orientation . . All other
differences between the local and cosmopolitan in-
fluentials seem to stem from their differences in
basic orientation (1957:392-394) (emphasis added).

These differences in orientation have already been noted.

Gouldner (1957, 1958) contributed to this confounding

pattern by identifying the variables of organizational loyal-

ty, commitment to skills, and reference group orientation as

characteristics of cosmopolitans and locals. While Gouldner

noted that any of these three may serve as an independent

criterion for identifying the topic of his study, latent

social identities, he used the three as a group to define

locals and cosmopolitans. While a close correlation between

loyalty, or skills, and reference group orientation may be

expected, the first two do not seem to be requisite com-

ponents of definitions of cosmopolitan and local.

The work of Krause (1971) is an attempt to theoreti-

cally formulate cosmopolitan and local in terms of reference

group orientation. As was noted in Chapter I, Krause is one

of the few who seems to have made the logical connection

between Mead's generalized other and reference groups. Hav-

ing done this, it is but one step further to equate Mead's

concrete and abstract others to local and cosmopolitan ref-

erence group orientations. Thus locals are those who inter-

act with their reference groups (concrete) while cosmopoli-

tans tend toward non-interactive (abstract) relations. In

Krause's terms,

The basic difference between locals and cosmopoli-
tans, and also between more localistic people and
less localistic people and between more cosmopoli-
tan individuals and those who are less cosmopoli-
tan, is seen as lying in the degree of remoteness
from the individual of the social objects to
which he tends to attach himself. Stated from
the opposite viewpoint, the essential difference
between locals and cosmopolitans lies in the de-
gree of immediacy to the individual of the social
objects with which he tends to identify . .
and the degree or extent to which the individual
tends to have his social object attachments rein-
forced through direct, frequent, and regular social
interaction with the people who embody or give
life to the social objects . (1971:123-124).

Degree of remoteness from identification objects thus be-

comes the major variable distinguishing cosmopolitans and


Locals thus have a proximall social commitment ten-

dency," meaning they seek out more frequent interaction and

support from concrete groups such as the family, the work

group, local voluntary groups, etc. Cosmopolitans, then,

have a "distal (or remote) social commitment tendency,"

seeking support from abstract groups who cannot provide

frequent interaction. The elements underlying Krause's

work thus seem to be the basic elements of similarity and

propinquity identified earlier by Hyman and Singer (1968)

as being characteristics of reference groups.

Exploring possible variations of such interaction

further, Krause identified four types of individuals: natu-

ral locals, displaced locals, neo-locals, and cosmopolitans.

While maintaining the emphasis on reference group orienta-

tion, Krause used the variables of active or passive commit-

ment and differences in social object orientation, either

primarily to people or primarily to groups, to distinguish

these types. The typology is important here only insofar as

it leads to the main concern--the elaboration of cosmopoli-


While Krause identified three fairly distinct types of

locals, he felt it necessary to treat cosmopolitans as fall-

ing along a continuum. This is reasonable, he maintained,

because the degree of "remoteness" from one's abstract group

may vary to an almost infinite degree.

Krause returned to the amount of interaction, in this

case with "members of the abstract group in which their

commitments are central," as one measure of varying degrees

of remoteness to determine cosmopolitanism. Basically, the

less interactive support received, the greater will be the

cosmopolitanism. The more one interacts with persons repre-

senting one's abstract group, the less remote one is and,

therefore, the closer one is to being a local.

A second variable Krause used in determining the degree

of "remoteness" of an individual's abstract group is the

closeness of his interactive relations to the "core segment"

of the group. The core segment is that which reflects the

ideal or identity of the whole group. This concept is op-

erationalizable, Krause felt, in terms of the prestige of

the interactions measured by their closeness to that core

segment. The closer the interactions are to the core of the

group, the higher will be the prestige. Thus, the individ-

ual further away from the prestigious elements of the ab-

stract group is more cosmopolitan because he is more "remote"

from the abstract group.

To illustrate his points, Krause used an example very

pertinent here in presenting two sociologists committed to

the "sociology profession." They are both found in socio-

logy departments of twenty-five members; one is in a low-

prestige department, the other is in a high-prestige depart-

ment. Because the second sociologist's interactions are

with the "names" and work that are central to the sociologi-

cal enterprise, he is closer to the essence of sociology,

his reference group is therefore less remote, and he is, by

definition, less cosmopolitan than the first man. The addi-

tional variable of amount of contact with other sociologists

could obviously be introduced in the example above to

represent Krause's second measure of remoteness--degree

of interaction with others.

These two variables seem to correspond to the two types

of cosmopolitans identified by Gouldner (1958). The first

of Gouldner's types identified merely with the profession

and is analogous to Krause's more cosmopolitan example

above. Gouldner's second type identified with an organi-

zation department, as well as with the profession, and ap-

pears to be much like Krause's less cosmopolitan illustra-

tion. While both approaches suggest the same factors at

work, Krause's seems to hold more promise in that it suggests

an ordered relationship between cosmopolitans, whereas

Gouldner's analysis specified only distinctive types and

is, therefore, more nominal in nature.

Krause's conceptualization lends itself to exploration

of those questions raised in Chapter I as to how and why

cosmopolitans differ in their orientation and what the

theoretical utility may be of viewing cosmopolitanism as

divisible on the basis of reference group orientation. Be-

cause of its promise, an attempt is made in this paper to

operationalize Krause's concepts, or a slight variation of

them, for use in studying sociologists and their reference

group behavior.

In summary, it can be seen that, following Krause, and

as posited in Chapter I, cosmopolitan orientation may be



defined in terms of orientation to an abstract reference

group. Further, degrees of cosmopolitanism may be distin-

guishable based on the remoteness from that abstract group.

Remoteness can then be operationalized as consisting of two

elements. First, there is the amount of interaction with

reference group representatives: one indicator that sug-

gests that interaction may be the size of the department

in which the individual is located. Second, the proximity

of the individual to the core of the reference group also

indicates a kind of social-psychological remoteness and may

be indicated by the prestige of that segment of the abstract

group with which the individual has contact.

A final word on Krause's typology seems in order here.

Krause intended his typology to be a general one that may

be applied to almost any population, but one very obvious

use of his cosmopolitan type is in distinguishing some as-

pects of professionalism. It was noted previously that at

least part of being a professional is commitment to an ab-

stract group, although such commitment is not strictly

limited to professionals. In keeping with Krause's general

view, it is, therefore, suggested that part of defining a

professional involves the degree of cosmopolitanism, defined

also in terms of commitment to an abstract group. Krause

at least implied this link when he says,

Cosmopolitans can probably be found with dispropor-
tionate frequency among detached persons 1) who
are participating in concrete settings which are

strongly tied through structural and cultural link-
ages into abstract groups, and 2) who aspire to
success (prestige, recognition, etc.) within the
abstract group as a whole. One important type of
example would be the professional working with a
colleague group in a bureaucracy, who desires
prestige and recognition within the profession as
a whole (1971:129).

While such a correspondence of concepts is only of

secondary importance here, it may prove fruitful in a

slightly different context. Further development of this

idea of the abstract reference group element in the con-

cepts of professionalism and cosmopolitanism may be fruit-

ful ground for study by occupational sociologists interested

in defining professionalism per se.

The Cosmopolitan-Local Orientation and
the Functions of Reference Groups

The distinction between comparative and normative

functions of reference groups was noted earlier, and the

argument for seeing cosmopolitans as those who have abstract

groups has also been made. The case for variations in de-

grees of cosmopolitanism has also been developed. Drawing

these elements together, the question arises whether these

various degrees of cosmopolitans do in fact "use" their

common reference group in the same way. Does the abstract

reference group serve the same function for all degrees of

cosmopolitans? It was suggested in Chapter I that it proba-

bly does not.

How then do these functions vary? It is here posited

that the function served varies with the degree of

cosmopolitanism, as measured in terms of remoteness as out-

lined above. The less remote cosmopolitan already knows

the normative behavior required of a professional of his

kind, because he interacts with them every day. He may not

be certain, however, how he rates as compared to others in

his special area, and so he seeks comparisons from his ref-

erence group. The more remote cosmopolitan needs more

normative support than his less remote colleague. Having

identified with the reference group, the near-isolate needs

assurance that he is acting like those with whom he identi-

fies and, therefore, he seeks out the normative cues which

the group has to offer.

This general hypothesis seems reasonable in the light

of discussions of the relationship between the individual

and his group. Mead's (1964) observation that it is the

individual's relation to others that gives him his unity of

self seems basic here, although that original point may now

seem submerged in the subsequent theoretical waters. The

individual seeks out that which will help him know what he

is. Logically, then, although the professional may feel that

he belongs, he needs to know what the expectations are for

one of his kind before he can judge how well he is doing.

Professional Socialization and Professional Conventions

The opportunities for making the kinds of judgments

noted above are relatively few for the person committed to

an abstract group. The idea that the convention of a pro-

fessional association provides such an opportunity was put

forth in Chapter I. Very little has been written on this

topic, however. Perhaps the closest related area is that

of occupational socialization, which makes occasional ref-

erences to the process being approached, but it does so

only in a very general way.

Moore (1969) noted that continuing socialization is an

important element, especially for rapidly advancing profes-

sional fields, and that there are both formal and informal

modes of reinforcement. He did not, however, specify beyond

mentioning occupational associations as one such mode. Per-

haps the most that another writer, Brim (1968:203), can say,

in his discussion of adult socialization, is that there is

no information to be had on the process of socialization

between colleagues. The work in this area seems to be too

general to be of much help in exploring the relation of

the individual to convention activities.

Unfortunately most other writings are not much more

enlightening. Caplow and McGee (1958), for example, men-

tioned the marketplace function of the convention but had

little else to say about it. Morin (1966) only suggested

that the changed "atmosphere" of the conventions of French

sociologists is worthy of study, and he did not attempt

to follow through on that suggestion.

The source that comes close to providing some direction

in regard to the convention's functions is Pavalko's

(1971:105-107) discussion. He talked first of the func-

tions of the occupational association as being the control

of fees, etc.; the setting of goals; the exchange of infor-

mation; and as a source of identity and therefore control.

This last function, he noted, is carried out in the annual

convention of the professional association. These meetings

serve to reinforce the identification originally learned

during one's professional training. Pavalko also noted the

point, made elsewhere, that such identification may be at

odds with the bureaucracy that constitutes the daily envi-

ronment of the professional. He concluded (Pavalko, 1971:

106), "Involvement and participation in association activi-

ties function to maintain disciplinary identities in the

face of pressure for identification with the organization."

While Pavalko's statement is helpful, it is a very

general statement of professional identification, and one

of the purposes of this study is to explore in greater de-

tail the functions that the convention activity serves.

Clearly the convention serves more than just a ritual func-

tion, and, given the salience of the occupational group in

influencing the outlook of individuals (e.g., Parsons, 1968),

conventions are a fruitful area for study, both for the

implications for understanding the relation of the individual

to his profession and for understanding the operation of the

convention itself.

Because a convention usually provides so many activi-

ties that a professional cannot attend them all, there must

be some process of individual selection at work. The posi-

tion developed here is that different activities provide

opportunities for different types of interactions and that

attendance at such activities will vary depending on what is

being sought by the individual. Attendance by those pro-

fessionals who have normative needs at activities offering

interaction supporting those needs should be distinguishable

from those activities attended by those professional cosmo-

politans who have comparative needs.

The general position to be developed, then, is that

the convention will function for members of the profession

in different ways depending on whether their orientation is

primarily comparative or primarily normative. Furthermore,

these differences will be reflected in participation in

differing convention activities. Specific hypotheses re

fleeting these general views are presented in the chapter

that follows.



This chapter discusses the survey instrument used in

this research and the nature of the sample to which the

instrument was administered. This discussion is followed

by a presentation of the major hypotheses that were tested.

The Questionnaire

The primary data for this research came from closed-end

responses to a mailed questionnaire labeled "Professional

Affiliations and Involvement Among Sociologists" (Appendix

1). The ten-page questionnaire sought information in a

variety of areas including attendance at, and participation

of sociologists in, meetings of professional associations,

both national and regional; the importance of such activity

for both self and others; information on the importance of

other types of activities for the respondent; and detailed

information on the geographic and educational background of

the sociologist being questioned.

The questionnaire asked the respondent to indicate not

only his membership, but also his level of activity in a

variety of professional, civic, religious, and political

organizations. More detailed information related to parti-

cipation in professional meetings was also sought by


including items which dealt with one's attendance at pro-

fessional meetings for the four years immediately preceding

the administration of the questionnaire.

A series of questions followed allowing the respondent

to indicate the importance he attached to different functions

served by professional meetings. These questions asked the

respondent to assess not only the importance for himself of

each function, such as intellectual exchange or public re-

lations, but also how important the respondent felt these

same activities were for his peers. Closely related to

these questions were ones asking for the percentage of time

spent in those activities which are typical of convention


For those included in the sample by virtue of their

membership in the American Sociological Association, these

questions were asked with regard to that group and its

meetings. Regional society member-respondents were asked

about their activities at the national convention of the

American Sociological Association and were also asked an

identical set of questions regarding participation in that

regional society's conventions (Appendix 2).

Another section required the individual to indicate

choices on a modified Likert-type response as to the impor-

tance of colleagues, friends, professional position, and

the appeal of the personal environment. These questions

served as the foundation for deriving the scale of cosmopoli-

tanism and localism to be discussed later.

Finally, there was a battery of questions asking in

what area of the country the person was currently located,

where and when the terminal degree was received, the indi-

vidual's perception of the prestige of those institutions,

the type of position currently held, an estimate of time

spent in contact with other professionals, and a measure of

the level of professional productivity.

The Samples

The populations selected for study were the memberships

of three professional organizations of sociologists: one

national group, the American Sociological Association, and

two regional societies, the Midwest Sociological Society

and the Southern Sociological Society. The membership lists

(1966 for the American Sociological Association and the

Southern Sociological Society, and 1965 for the Midwest

Sociological Society) received from the offices of the

organizations showed the size of the populations, excluding

student members, to be approximately 7,100 for the American

Sociological Association, 700 for the Midwest Sociological

Society, and 600 for the Southern Sociological Society.

Treating each of these memberships as a separate

population, each individual was assigned a number, and

simple random samples were drawn comprising all those cases

designated by a table of random numbers. Three samples were

thus obtained, with sample sizes of 200 for the American

Sociological Association, and 100 each for the Midwest

Sociological Society and the Southern Sociological Society.

Sample members were then mailed the questionnaire with

a cover letter appealing for cooperation and a stamped re-

turn envelope. After two weeks, those who had not responded

were sent a "reminder letter," and, after two more weeks,

a second mailing of the questionnaire and return envelope

was made to those who still had not replied.

The above approach garnered 290 usable responses, of

which 188 were in the original return group, 47 more were

returned through the device of the "reminder letter," and

55 final responses were received through the second mailing

of the questionnaire. Inspection showed that those who

responded in the second and third groups included relatively

greater proportions of individuals marginal to the pro-

fession. By chance, the return rates by sub-sample were

identical, with the American Sociological Association sample

producing 144 usable responses and 73 each being produced by

the regional societies' samples.

Incomplete or unusable returns and other feedback in-

formation, like undelivered mailings, identified 23 sample

members who were ineligible for inclusion for reasons such

as death, retirement, or not being a professional sociolo-

gist. If this same ineligibility proportion is assumed for

the segment of the samples from whom no information was ob-

tained, the effective return rate may be thought of as

slightly in excess of 75 percent.

The Measurement of Variables

The Cosmopolitan-Local Variable

This study distinguished cosmopolitan from local soci-

ologists on the basis of Guttman-scale scores. In develop-

ing the Guttman scale used here, virtually every item of

the questionnaire numbered 45 to 75 (Appendix 1, pp. 169-72)

was subjected to scale analysis in combination with several

other items and with differing combinations of cutting

points. The objective of all these analyses was to produce

a scale with the maximum coefficient of reproducibility,

with the largest number of items, and in conformity with

the guidelines suggested by Riley (1963). The bulk of the

analysis was performed by a Guttman-scaling program from

the Vogelback Center at Northwestern University; refinements

and rejection of alternatives failing to meet Riley's guide-

lines were by "eye" and hand calculation.

The resulting scale, with a coefficient of reproduci-

bility of .92, consists of the nine items listed below. The

items are listed, top to bottom, from those eliciting the

greatest proportion of cosmopolitan responses to those pro-

ducing the smallest. Following each item are the responses

which, on a four-response, forced-choice format, were

counted as cosmopolitan responses.

It is important to me that my work be recognized and
appreciated by a few sociologists who work in the same
specialty as I do. (strong agreement, mild agreement)

All other things being equal, I would leave my present
position and move to one some distance away if the
opportunities for scholarly productivity were greater.
(strong agreement, mild agreement)

All other things being equal, I would leave my present
position and move to one some distance away if the "work
style" were more satisfactory (teaching load, freedom of
research, etc.). (strong agreement, mild agreement)

All other things being equal, I would leave my present
position and move to one some distance away if the soci-
ology department were stronger even though the overall
quality of the institution were the same. (strong
agreement, mild agreement)

It is important to me that my work be recognized and
appreciated by the administration of my university.
(mild agreement, mild disagreement, strong disagreement)

Indicate your degree of interest if you were invited
to be a city councilman in the city of your current
residence. (definitely uninterested)

Indicate your degree of interest if you were invited
to be a president of the faculty senate at your
university. (definitely uninterested)

All other things being equal, I would leave my present
position and move to one some distance away if admini-
stration and colleagues were more personal and friendly.
(strong disagreement)

It is important to me that my work be appreciated and
recognized by my undergraduate students. (mild disagree-
ment, strong disagreement)

This scale is, by quantitative standards, very satisfactory.

It is also theoretically satisfying, in that the items which

scaled seem, in face-validity terms, to address themselves

directly to reference group orientations and to the theoreti-

cally crucial elements of the cosmopolitan-local typology.

Each individual was assigned to the scale type which

minimized his personal error score, or in ambiguous cases

to the alternative among the minimal-error scale types which

had the highest frequency. The sample, then, was among

ten ranks, from zero to nine theoretical cosmopolitan


For most of this study, the focus has been exclusively

upon cosmopolitans. Those respondents in the lower range

of the scale were discarded; the sample became those indi-

viduals in the five most cosmopolitan scale types, then

scored as five through one, greater to lesser cosmopoli-


Attendance at Conventions

Data on convention attendance were provided by

questionnaire items 30 to 39 (Appendix 1, pp. 166-67). Respon-

dents were queried as to whether they attended specific

conventions at specific sites for each of the four years

prior to the administration of the questionnaire. Addition-

ally, information on degree of participation was collected

by asking if the respondent had also read a paper or served

on a committee for each year. While participation level

will be of interest later, the focus for this variable is

on attendance versus non-attendance.

By totaling the number of times each individual atten-

ded national meetings, regardless of participation level, a

composite measure of attendance was derived, suggesting a

trend for the four-year period. Thus individuals might

have a score of no attendance or might show attendance at

one, two, three, or four conventions.

Prestige Ranking of Employing Department

Another variable of interest is that of the prestige

of the respondent's employing academic department. The

data used came from item 11 of the questionnaire (Appendix 1,

p.175), which asked the individual to indicate the prestige

of his employing department on a six-choice scale. The

precise form of the question was:

In your judgment, how does this department rank

(1) Among the best

(2) Excellent, but not among the best

(3) Above average

(4) About average

(5) Below average

(6) Very poor

Thus, in its initial state the responses formed at least a

six-item, ordinal-level measure of prestige, and the variable

was treated in that manner unless indicated otherwise.

An important point, in this instance, is that the

responses reflect how the individual perceived his depart-

ment's prestige, whatever the objective status of that de-

partment. While prestige is admittedly difficult to measure

(Gorman, 1971:109), this self-assessment appears to be an

adequate index for this study's purposes since it is the

individual's assessment of his department's prestige, rather

than its "true" status, which will influence his self-

concept, convention behavior, and other factors of interest.

Contact with Peers

Contact with professional peers also has been suggested

as an important variable in this study. Contact with peers

may, of course, be of different types, and two of those

types, professional contact and social contact, need to be

considered as factors operating in this study. The ques-

tions designed to gather information on such contact ap-

peared in the questionnaire as follows (Appendix 1, p.176):

18.-19. With how many sociologists did you come
into professional contact in the course
of last week's work?

number of persons contacted

20.-21. How many sociologists did you see socially
rather than professionally last week?

number of persons seen

In raw form these two direct measures of peer contact

could range from zero to the total number of living soci-

ologists. In fact, the responses showed that the greatest

number of sociologists seen professionally was 50 and the

greatest number seen socially was 40.

Since the concern in this study is with the gross

amount of contact with peers as an influence on the indi-

vidual, rather than on the implications of the more refined

sub-divisions, a composite measure of total contact was used.

This measure was obtained by summing the number of profes-

sional and social contacts made by each individual in the

week prior to the administration of the questionnaire. This

still left a wide range of contacts and, therefore, the

responses were grouped in the following manner: group 1--

those who had no social contact with peers; group 2--those

who had infrequent contact with peers, including 1 to 3

contacts; group 3--those who had 4 to 10 contacts labeled

frequent contact; and group 4--all contacts that number 11

or more, labeled very frequent contact. This grouping has

some theoretical foundation in that those who had no contact

obviously were not getting reference group support from

professional peers, and those who had 3 or fewer total con-

tacts did not seem to be receiving as much support as they

might need to maintain an attachment to their professional

reference group. While the cutting point between the third

group and the infrequent contact group may seem somewhat

arbitrary, it represents a break near the median number of

contacts made by cosmopolitan sociologists, suggesting a

natural break. In the third group enough contact with peers

may have been made to provide adequate reference group

support. The last category may be thought to have had a

surfeit of peer contact and may be qualitatively different

in their reference group needs because of that. This four-

fold division is used hereafter in the discussions involving

peer contact.

Normative Activities at Conventions

Normative activities may be thought of as those which

permit the individual to learn expectations for appropriate

behavior. In this instance, convention situations which

provide informal settings allowing for a gathering and

testing of actions and ideas which might signal acceptable

behavior would seem necessary. In such situations the

individual may be able to get a "sense" of what the broad

expectations are for acceptable "sociologist" behavior.

Such opportunities are not usually provided by most of

the activities and meetings listed in the convention's

printed program.

Activities such as meeting with friends, old and new,

and attending personal or private parties seem to provide

the proper setting for the give and take required for

gathering and generalizing normative cues. In the ques-

tionnaire, items 9, 11, and 17 (Appendix 1, p. 168) provided

data used as indicators of this type of activity. Item 9

asked how much time was spent "conversing with old friends,"

which seems to represent the informal situation noted above.

Item 11 was a variation of the same situation, but inquired,

rather, into time spent "meeting new people." Finally, item

17 provided information on informal social situations by

inquiring about attendance at "more private parties (school

or personal)."

The possible range of answers in each of the items

above could vary from 0 to 100 percent in raw form. Since

treating the responses in this way would probably be both

unwieldy and unproductive, the responses were grouped in the

following manner. The first group were those who spent no

time in the activity under consideration. This was followed

by those who spent 1 to 14 percent of their time in the

indicated activity, followed, in turn, by groupings repre-

senting 15 to 24 percent, 25 to 34 percent, 35 to 44 per-

cent, 45 to 54 percent, 55 to 64 percent, 65 to 74 percent,

75 to 84 percent, and 85 to 100 percent of convention time

spent in the designated activity.

A second set of items used allowed the respondent to

indicate how important normative activities were to him.

These were to provide independent support of the uses of

normative activity, distinct from that provided by the items

above. The respondent was provided the opportunity to

indicate whether a variety of functions served by conventions

were "very important to me," "of some importance to me," or

"unimportant to me," and these three categories are used

during the analysis that follows.

For normative activity the items used were numbered

45 and 53 of the questionnaire (Appendix 1, p.168). Item

45 allowed the respondent to indicate whether "opportunity

for primary relations" was a convention function which he

considered very important, of some importance, or unimpor-

tant to him. Item 53 provided the same three response

choices in asking about "communication other than intellec-

tual and primary." The former item was to tap the indi-

vidual's realization of the importance of informal activities

such as meeting old friends and attending personal parties,

included in the items presented previously. The latter

item gave the respondent the opportunity to recognize a

function of meeting new people and going to activities such

as school parties that provided occasions that are usually

less than primary. These are situations where he might pick

up the kinds of normative cues being discussed, but which

do not neatly fall into the intellectual or the primary


Comparative Activities at Conventions

This study also treats the differences in comparative

activities among cosmopolitan sociologists. Comparative

activities allow the individual to make an assessment of

how he relates to the professional "ideal." Thus, these

activities are those which allow the individual to judge

what is occurring in the "business" of the profession, that

is, in academic matters, and which allow the individual to

compare his own work with that of others.

Three items in the questionnaire provided information

on convention situations which promoted opportunities for

such comparisons. Those items are 3, 13, and 21 of the

questionnaire (Appendix 1, p. 168). These items simply

asked the respondent to indicate the percentage of his con-

vention time he spent in "attending sessions; giving and

hearing papers," "attending business meetings and conducting

committee business," and "attending publishers' exhibits."

Each of these seems to provide the opportunity for compari-

son with others. Attendance at sessions clearly allows the

individual to make an assessment of his own academic work,

in his speciality or areas related to it. Attendance at

business meetings also allows comparison with what the

sociologist deems important issues for sociologists, and

with what other sociologists find such issues to be. Fi-

nally, the publishers' exhibits allow the sociologist to

discover whether his own work may have any acceptability,

either in terms of academic excellence or in terms of

popular appeal, and they also allow ready assessment of

what is being published and is already on the public market.

Like the normative activities discussed above, the raw

responses for these questions could range from 0 to 100 per-

cent. In order to facilitate analysis, these questions

were grouped in the same percentage groupings as the norma-

tive activities, and this grouping is used in subsequent

analysis involving these items.

As with the normative activities variable, a second

set of items on the importance of the type of activity to

the individual was also utilized. As above, the respondent

was provided the opportunity to indicate whether a number

of functions of conventions were very important, of some

importance, or unimportant to him. Items used in this in-

stance are numbered 41 and 47 in the questionnaire

(Appendix 1, p. 167). Item 41 asked the importance of


"intellectual exchange" as a convention function. This is

one of the manifest activities of a convention and was

classified as comparative because it is part of the "busi-

ness" of the convention, such exchange presumably taking

place at convention sessions. Item 47 asked the respondent

to indicate the importance of "status conferral and affirma-

tion" functions, which is the very essence of comparative


Statistical Tests

Almost all of the variables identified are ordinal in

nature, and the tests used in analyzing such data included

the ordinal measures Kendall's tau, Goodman and Kruskal's

gamma, and Somers' D. None of these is without problems,

both of use and of interpretation, and the following section

presents some consideration of these measures.

Goodman and Kruskal's Gamma

Gamma is apparently widely used although it is not

without its problems. Gamma is a versatile non-directional

ordinal statistic (Champion, 1970:219) which may be inter-

preted as a proportional measure of concordant to discordant

occurrences of ranked pairs (Somers, 1962:802). It may be

applied to a contingency table of any size and will vary

from zero to plus or minus one at its maximum. Gamma scores

are interpretable as relative reduction-in-error measures

(Mueller et al., 1970:279-292); that is, the score indicates

the proportional difference in increase of predictive

power gained by knowing one variable, over predicting one

variable from the other without knowledge of either.

Perhaps gamma's major fault is that it excludes rank-

tied pairs, basing its predictability only on untied pairs,

one effect of which is to increase its value as variable

categories are collapsed (Somers, 1962:809). Gamma's

treatment of ties has even led to criticism that it is not

truly a proportional reduction-in-error statistic (Wilson,


Kendall's Rank Correlation Coefficient: Tau

Kendall's taub is a non-directional measure of asso-

ciation for ordinal data. Taub, however, does make allow-

ance for tied pairs in ranks by giving tied observations

"the average of the ranks they would have received if there

were no ties" (Siegel, 1956:217). What Kendall labeled

taub ranges from zero to plus or minus one for a square

contingency table, but this score is not readily inter-

pretable as a reduction-in-error statistic, or as a measure

of probability (Somers, 1962). Since taub is maximal at

something less than plus or minus one for other than square

tables, a corrective factor was introduced allowing for

treatment of odd-sized tables. This statistic is called

tau While tau is thus more flexible than taub, it, too,

has no ready, direct interpretation, and, according to

Blalock (1972), it is less satisfactory than taub in this


Somers' D

Somers' D was originally put forth as an attempt to

modify Goodman's and Kruskal's gamma to account for ties on

a designated independent variable, thus creating an asym-

metric ordinal measure (Somers, 1962:799-811). The modifi-

cation introduced was the inclusion of the number of tied

pairs in the denominator of gamma's formula, thus giving

gamma some of the advantages of Kendall's tau. Like gamma,

D can be used on tables of ordinal data of any size. While

D is usable on other than square tables, it apparently can-

not reach its limit of plus or minus one under such circum-

stances and thus, like the previous two measures, presents

some difficulty in direct interpretation. Somers (1962:803),

however, maintained that asymmetric D, like gamma, has an

operational interpretation closely related to the percentage

difference, or reduction in error, for square tables and

"may be seen as a function of certain percentage comparisons

in a table of larger size." Such relations have not,

unfortunately, been specified. Finally, symmetric D has

been introduced, which serves much the same function as

gamma, with proper allowance for tied pairs.

Interpretation and Tests of Significance

Clearly one of the biggest problems with such measures

is that of meaning. Interpretation of a given score for

gamma is not readily understandable on its own, and direct

comparison with tau or D for the same data will show

considerable differences. Because these statistics do use

the same basic formula, differing primarily in their treat-

ment of tied rank scores (Blalock, 1972:425), some general

similarities may be expected. Usually gamma is larger

than taub, which in turn is usually larger than tau

(Blalock, 1972:424). Gamma is also usually larger than

asymmetric D for the same data (Somers, 1962:809), for two

reasons. First, gamma excludes ties, thereby reducing the

number of pairs on which it is based, thus increasing the

possibility of a higher score because of reduced disparate

information. Second, taub and D reach a maximum when a

square variable table has all of its frequencies along a

main diagonal, while a relatively large gamma score can be

had under several different patterns of scores (Mueller

et al., 1970:288-290). Apparently such differences between

gamma and D decrease as tables get larger. Other than

Somers' additional observation (1962:809) that D and taub

seem to be more stable than gamma where tables are collapsed,

the relationships between the measures remain rather unclear.

As noted above, Blalock (1972) saw the only real

differences among these measures occurring in their treat-

ment of tied-rank scores. The only solution to the problems

of interpretation that Blalock could offer is to minimize

differences between variable scores by using as many cate-

gories as possible for each variable, thus reducing the

number of ties. Such advice does not deal with the basic

interpretative problem of what these scores "mean." Up

to a point, however, it does seem to be good general advice

to reduce the differences in the three measures. Clearly,

this advice is only good to the point where there are so

many categories that they cannot be readily comprehended.

The only solution seems to be to strive for that optimal

categorization which will minimize score differences and,

at the same time, facilitate understanding. Such a guide

provides little solace in dealing with data, although it

does draw attention to possible procedural errors which may

otherwise be ignored.

Besides problems of interpretation there is also the

issue of the appropriate test of significance for each

statistic. A test of significance for Kendall's tau has

been devised (Blalock, 1972:420-421), but specific tests

for gamma and D are unavailable. Fortunately tau, gamma,

and D employ the same formula numerator (i.e., Kendall's

S where S = C D, C being the number of concordant pairs

of observations and D the discordant pairs) and thus have

similar sampling distributions. According to Somers

(1962:811), this permits the test of significance for

Kendall's tau to also serve as a test of significance for

gamma and D.

Kendall's Partial Rank Correlation
Coefficient: Tau
One additional measure, somewhat different from those

just discussed, needs to be presented, and that measure is

Kendall's partial tau. Like the previous measures, this

one is to be used with ordinal data, and, like the previous

measures, this measure of association varies between plus

one and minus one. The major difference is that this mea-

sure deals with the relationship between three variables,

instead of two. It is for use in any situation where the

relation between any two given variables is thought to be

affected by the action of a third variable. In order to

investigate this idea, the effects of the third variable

are statistically controlled, or "partialled out," so that

the real relation of the two variables of interest may be

viewed. Unfortunately, this measure, too, has problems.

First, there is no test of significance for tau par-

tial (Siegel, 1956:228). Such a lack is a serious handicap.

Second, there is the problem noted above of treating tied

ranks. Blalock (1972:440-442), in discussing the treat-

ment of ties, noted that there are two ways to approach

partial rank-order correlation. One way is to use a for-

mula method such as that utilized by tau, and the other, as

suggested by Davis (1967), is to subclassify on the basis

of the control variable and then obtain a weighted average

of the particular measure used (e.g., gamma, Somers' D),

basing the weighting on the number of pairs in each sub-

category. The tau formula seems difficult to understand

unless tau c, which deals with ties in its computation, is

used, and in instances where sub-classificationproduces

classifications with very small numbers of cases, it is

almost impossible to use the second process. There is, in

fact, no clear indication which is the preferable procedure.

In this particular study Kendall's tau was decided upon

after preliminary investigation showed that the second

method would produce several sub-classifications with very

few cases, making measurement impossible.

Keeping in mind Blalock's warning (1972:441) that

partial ordinal measures should be used with caution, the

author chose Kendall's partial rank correlation coefficient

to serve the needs of this study, and it was used where the

situation demanded an ordinal partialling procedure.

The Hypotheses

This section presents each hypothesis in detail. The

discussion for each includes the underlying theoretical

rationale, the substantive hypothesis derived from the

theories, the variables previously described that are used

in each case, the specific research and null hypothesis

tested, and the methodological considerations involved,

including the statistical test used.

Hypothesis I -- Attendance of Cosmopolitan and
Local Sociologists at National Conventions

Cosmopolitans should attend conventions with greater

frequency than locals. Theoretically, this hypothesis stems

from the definitions of the two types. The local, it is

argued, has a proximal concrete reference group that meets

his needs, and so the convention profits him little. The

cosmopolitan, on the other hand, is more attached to the

profession as a reference group and looks to the convention

as an expression of that abstract group, the profession,

for support. He will, therefore, attend more conventions,

because the convention serves functions for him it does not

serve for the local.

To test this hypothesis, the cosmopolitan-local scale

was compared with the composite convention attendance

variable, as these were outlined above. A simple students'

t test for differences between means of independent samples

was used. In this case, the use of an interval-level test

seemed warranted since the test was between the differences

in the amount of convention attendance, which was measured

on an interval level. The assumption was also made that

the cosmopolitans and locals are independent samples not

related on any other variable pertinent at this point.

Following this, the research and null hypotheses may

be stated,

H : Cosmopolitan sociologists will report signifi-

cantly greater attendance at conventions of the

American Sociological Association for a combined

four-year period than will be reported by local


H0: There is no significant difference between the

attendance at conventions of the American Socio-

logical Association for a four-year period as

reported by cosmopolitan sociologists and as

reported by local sociologists.


H : mc > ml.
H : mc < ml.

In the latter set of hypotheses c indicates the cosmo-

politan sample and 1 the local group. In this instance, a

one-tailed test of significance was appropriate since a

direction was posited.

Hypothesis II -- Cosmopolitan Sociologists
and National Convention Attendance

While Hypothesis I deals with the differences between

two types of sociologists, this hypothesis deals with

differences within the cosmopolitan type. Because of the

use of the Guttman-scalogram technique, it was possible not

only to distinguish types, but also to identify some order-

ing within these types, based on the number of cosmopolitan

items endorsed in the proper order: the more "correct" the

cosmopolitan-type responses, the greater the cosmopolitanism.

With this in mind, it seems likely that the greater

the cosmopolitanism, the greater will be the attendance at

national conventions. The argument for this hypothesis is

just a variation of that noted in Hypothesis I. The most

cosmopolitan individual has the greatest need of the con-

vention as an expression of the abstract reference group.

Those less cosmopolitan tended to endorse more "local-like"

responses, suggesting that they have more concrete reference

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - Version 2.9.8 - mvs