Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title


Publisher Name



In this paper, we argue that there is new insight to be gained by reexamining the classic text, Boys in White, in strategic ways. Specifically, we share excerpts from Boys in White with current medical students and ask for their reactions in qualitative interviews, examining the relevance (or lack thereof) of earlier meanings about professional training for current processes of professional training. We show how we have employed this technique in our current project revisiting Boys in White with current medical students, and discuss preliminary findings that reveal the potential of this technique for documenting evidence of macro-level forces in healthcare institutions using qualitative data on new doctors. We conclude with discussion of alternative approaches through which scholars could make use of this technique in future professional socialization scholarship that could shed light on dynamics of institutional persistence and change.


Author Posting © Sage, 2020. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Sage for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Ethnography, March 2020.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Included in

Sociology Commons