Daniel Menchik - "The Dynamics of Professional Status Competitions"


Location: 319 Hammes Mowbray

The Once-in-a-Great-While Microsociology Workshop announces its inaugural speaker, as well as its final speaker for the year:

Daniel Menchik
Michigan State University

"The Dynamics of Professional Status Competitions"

Thursday March 31, 2016
10-11:30 a.m. in 319 Hammes Mowbray

Abstact: This paper develops a theory of professional status competition that takes account of the multiple ways professionals evaluate each other. It describes individuals’ competition within a profession in an economy of exchange that is essentially political in nature. This economy operates through the mechanism of communication about competitors’ technical and interpersonal practices across venues of interaction. Professionals observe others’ practices and assess them according to their own social location in the profession, validating or invoking skepticism about competitors’ practices depending on whether doing so places them at personal risk of losing status. Implications for understanding professional stratification and the spread of knowledge are proposed.

Dan specializes in health and medicine, and won the ASA's Most Awesome Dissertation Award in 2013. He's the author of several articles, including two in AJS ("that other journal," as it's referred to on the 7th floor of Flanner). His web sites:


I've asked him to give a proper presentation so that failure to read the paper (if I even distribute it) isn't an excuse not to come. Bagels and coffee will be served, God willing.