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10003415
A Review of Lortie’s Schoolteacher
Authors:
Abstract:
Dan C. Lortie’s Schoolteacher: A sociological study is one of the best works on the sociology of teaching since W. Waller’s classic study. It is a book worthy of review. Following the tradition of symbolic interactionists, Lortie demonstrated the qualities who studied the occupation of teaching. Using several methods to gather effective data, Lortie has portrayed the ethos of the teaching profession. Therefore, the work is an important book on the teaching profession and teacher culture. Though outstanding, Lortie’s work is also flawed in that his perspectives and methodology were adopted largely from symbolic interactionism. First, Lortie in his work analyzed many points regarding teacher culture; for example, he was interested in exploring “sentiment,” “cathexis,” and “ethos.” Thus, he was more a psychologist than a sociologist. Second, symbolic interactionism led him to discern the teacher culture from a micro view, thereby missing the structural aspects. For example, he did not fully discuss the issue of gender and he ignored the issue of race. Finally, following the qualitative sociological tradition, Lortie employed many qualitative methods to gather data but only foucused on obtaining and presenting interview data. Moreover, he used measurement methods that were too simplistic for analyzing quantitative data fully.

References:

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