chapter  3
14 Pages

Occupational mobility and career

Many academic disciplines have to come to terms with the fact that the language that they use in a very specific sense is often used in an everyday sense too. This latter sense is in many cases evaluative and sometimes even pejorative. There are many instances that can be cited in sociology of this difficulty. Words and concepts such as bureaucracy, alienation and profession have a very special and exact meaning to the sociologist, normally very different from the meaning of the everyday World. The concept of a career is another such term, in that evaluations are often made of the term which the sociologist would not normally make. For example, the term ‘career woman’ is a common enough expression implying that a woman who devotes herself to her work automatically denies certain commitments which it is felt should be directed towards her family and domestic situation. As another example, when in everyday life we refer to someone putting his career first, there is the assumption that that person is being unnecessarily selfish and is disregarding other important aspects of his life, more often than not at the expense of others.