For the Classical Theory course that incoming graduate students in our department take, David S. Meyer includes an article by Daniel F. Chambliss called “The Mundanity of Excellence: An Ethnographic Report on Stratification and Olympic Swimmers.”
Most of the folks in my cohort were perplexed when we read it.
“Maybe it’s for methodological theory, or something?”
“I don’t know, I was thinking he’s trying to appeal to the Inequality people?”
It turned out Professor Meyer was offering advice on academia, generally. Excellence is about persistence and consistent work, not natural ability. Continue reading