Re: Academic Titles

Michael D. Fischer (M.D.Fischer@UKC.AC.UK)
Sun, 3 Mar 1996 20:16:11 GMT

Assorted people have alluded to the British system as a prototype, and with=
the lastest addition of MDs to the thread I will risk the following.

When I first came to the UK in 1985 I found the system of 'titling' quite=
different from the States. Here most academics never rise above the level=
of Lecturer, which is, in rough terms, similar to Asst. Prof and Assoc Prof=
in the states. Sr. Lecturer is more or less equivalent to Full Prof. Reader=
is an honourific applied to a very few individuals especially recognised=
for research activities. Prof. is attained by very few, usually for both=
research and administrative prowess. There are relatively few Prof. in a=
department, often only one, possibly two. Undergraduate students and and=
Postgraduate students (not Research [PhD] students) definitely use either=
Dr. or Prof if appropriate unless they know you very well, and then will=
only use more familiar terms when in private or informal groups. I doubt=
any of this relates to the class system as such, since prior to a decade=
ago all such people were middle or upper class.

MDs are called Mr. A friend of mine married to an MD was at a party of such,=
and was in conversation when he was asked if he was a doctor too. He=
replied, "I'm a real doctor", which was accepted as perhaps a bit rude, but=

Michael Fischer
Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing
University of Kent at Canterbury