The system of professions: An essay on the division of expert labor.
ABSTRACT In "The System of Professions" Andrew Abbott explores central questions about the role of professions in modern life: Why should there be occupational groups controlling expert knowledge? Where and why did groups such as law and medicine achieve their power? Will professionalism spread throughout the occupational world? While most inquires in this field study one profession at a time, Abbott here considers the system of professions as a whole. Through comparative and historical study of the professions in nineteenth- and twentieth-century England, France, and America, Abbott builds a general theory of how and why professions evolve.
Abbott begins by evaluating the link—which he calls jurisdiction—between an occupation and its work. The concept of jurisdiction leads directly to an analysis of professions as existing in a system; since one profession can preempt another's work, the histories of professions are inevitably interdependent. Abbott goes on to discuss both internal and external cultural and social forces bearing on this system and closes by illustrating his approach with three detailed histories of contested jurisdictions, in the areas of information, law, and psychotherapy.
Underlying Abbott's theoretical synthesis is an explanation of how a division of labor—in this case a division of expert labor—constructs itself in modern society. In addressing this question, he also offers a powerful analysis of contingency that bridges the gap between analytic sociology and narrative history. Written with grace and clarity, this highly original treatise will be required reading for those interested in the history and sociology of the professions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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ABSTRACT: Despite a sustained preoccupation with crime scene investigation in policing and instructional literatures, government reviews and media accounts, the crime scene examiner has received scant sociological attention. Focusing on scientific support personnel in an English police force, this article analyses how embedded actors who routinely facilitate the provision of crime scene examination reflect on their role and position in the investigative process. The analysis draws on data collected in a small number of semi-structured interviews with stakeholders at different levels of seniority, in order to map an understanding of the inter and intra-professional interactions, exchanges, dependencies and negotiations employed by those working at the coalface of investigative practice. Hoping to illuminate some of the sense-making practices behind the enactment of forensic activities, the discussion examines the articulation of professional identities and the conclusion reflects more broadly on the processes of professionalisation and discourses of professionalism that accompany standardised forensic accomplishments.Sociology 09/2014; 48(4):763-779. · 1.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to investigate possible similarities and differences in American and Russian public relations students' (N=377) interpretations of such concepts as leaders and leadership in public relations. Three open-ended questions were designed to examine the participants' perceptions of ethical issues and leadership in PR practice. After American (n=196) and Russian (n=181) students were surveyed, the authors coded their essay-like responses in accordance with emerged themes. American and Russian students were similar in their perceptions of the public relations profession as prestigious and glamorous and PR leaders as superior to other leaders. Significant differences emerged between American and Russian participants on the three main issues—professional ethics, creativity, and the nature of leadership. American students believed that public relations is inherently ethical and society-oriented, and they regarded moral values as the most important values for public relations leaders. Russian students perceived PR as an art that requires a talent, creative thinking, and knowledge of psychological methods of influence. U.S respondents believed that public relations practice is transparent, whereas Russian participants considered public relations hidden persuasion. American respondents perceived public relations leadership as the ability to effectively collaborate with followers, whereas Russian participants thought that public relations leadership is the ability to dominate and impose leaders' opinions on team members. The fact that American and Russian public relations students might possess an idealized perception of the profession calls for an assessment of teachers' instruction to create a more balanced and realistic image of the profession.The Public relations journal 01/2011; 5(3).
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ABSTRACT: An important influence on parents' decisions about pediatric vaccination (children under 6 years of age) is the attitude of their health care providers, including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers. Very limited qualitative research exists, however, on how attitudes towards vaccination develop among healthcare professionals in-training. We explored perspective development among three groups of students: medical, chiropractic, and naturopathic. We conducted focus group sessions with participants from each year of study at three different healthcare training programs in Ontario, Canada. Semi-structured and open-ended questions were used to elicit dynamic interaction among participants and explore how they constructed their attitudes toward vaccination at the beginning and part way through their professional training. Analyses of verbatim transcripts of audio-taped interviews were conducted both inductively and deductively using questions structured by existing literature on learning, professional socialization and interprofessional relations. We found five major themes and each theme was illustrated with representative quotes.Advances in Health Sciences Education 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10459-015-9602-4 · 2.71 Impact Factor