100 Books: Texts That Influenced My Thinking–Boys in White

Boys in White 

Paperback Jan. 1976


“Boys in White was the first major sociological study reporting the actual educational experience had at medical school, not as it should be or as the American Association of Medical Schools portrayed education at medical schools.

Participant observation by Howard S. Becker and Blanche Geer provided insights that could not be had by survey methods.”

–Classic Study of Medical Education Review

“Boys in White explores and describes the students’ developing perspective toward the medical school program and faculty, and ultimately toward the future practice of medicine as indicated by fourth year choices in internships and residencies….

It is difficult to imagine anyone concerned with medical or even general education who could fail to find this study bearing directly on some of his most important problems….

The importance of Boys in White as a sociological analysis lies in the attention which the authors have devoted to the problem of standardizing and communicating the observation of complex social organization over a long time span…. Boys in White is much more than a study of a timely problem. It is a sociological monograph of first-rate theoretical importance.”

–Ivan Belknap, Administrative Science Quarterly

“Boys in White will be of interest to many sociologists, particularly those concerned with participant observation as a field work method.”

–George G. Reader, American Sociological Review

“This book describes the 1961 study by Howard Becker and his colleagues of how “boys in white”–medical students–become doctors. It remains a remarkable ethnographic study of how these young men at the University of Kansas lived.”

–Thomas Laqueur, BMJ: British Medical Journal

“The nature of the study and the findings are important.”

–Fred Kern, Jr., Journal of Health and Human Behavior

About the Authors

Howard S. Becker taught at numerous universities and authored many books, including Tricks of the Trade, Outsiders, and Art Worlds. He was editor of Social Problems and past president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Blanche Geer was professor of sociology at Northeastern University and Brandeis University. She served as associate editor of Social Problems and The Sociology of Education.

Everett C. Hughes was professor of sociology at Boston College and The University of Chicago. He is the author of French Canada in Transition, Men and Their Work, and Where Peoples Meet.

Anselm Strauss (1916-1996) was an American medical sociologist and professor at the University of Chicago. He was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1980.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Transaction Publishers; 1st edition (1 Jan. 1976)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 470 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0878556222
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0878556229
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.2 x 2.67 x 22.9 cm