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: Nursing in Chile is considered to be the leading example of professional development in Latin America - nurses must undertake five years of university education on a full-time programme. Academisation of nursing education is a key aspect in the evolution into professional status. The consequences of education, however, are commonly related to the replication of social institutions and structures that perpetuate social inequalities. The study's aim was to comprehend the consequences of nursing academisation and its relationships with the social transformations which that country has witnessed. We draw upon ethnographic data, gathered between 2010 and 2011 in a 500-bed, high-quality university hospital in Chile. Participants were nurses ranging from beginners to experienced professionals and recruited from wards representing technically expert nursing and caring-oriented nursing. The data were organised to allow the development of concepts and patterns, using the Grounded Theory approach. Despite the fact that Chilean nursing originated from the educated elite class, today's nurses share a middle-class consciousness, and a sense of class distinction is encouraged throughout academic training - the 'eliteness' of professional groups. This discourse antagonises middle-class people who 'should' adopt a professional-class identity. A tension among nurses surfaced, based on a competition for a scarce resource: social mobility. Furthermore, an antagonist stratification between university-trained nurses and auxiliary nurses has developed, and in the process the title 'nurse' and the practice of 'nursing' have been monopolised by university-trained nurses, resulting in a relationship of domination-subordination. The academisation process followed by Chilean nursing is rooted in the social-class transformations of that country. Such process has been ineffective in preventing social inequalities, resulting in the reproduction of earlier historical class differences in nursing, inhibiting nurses' individual development. Class differences are manifest in the socially constructed distinction between the nurse and the auxiliary nurse, resulting in a schism of the nursing family. By reconstituting a broken-up occupation, the political power of nursing could be strengthened.International journal of nursing studies 08/2013; · 1.91 Impact Factor
- Confero: Essays on Education, Philosophy and Politics. 03/2013; 1(1):5- 18.
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ABSTRACT: How do innovative knowledge-based structures emerge and become embedded in organizations? We drew on theories of knowledge-intensive firms, communities of practice, and professional service firms to analyze multiple cases of new practice area creation in management consulting firms. Our qualitative analysis identified four critical generative elements: socialized agency, differentiated expertise, defensible turf, and organizational support. We demonstrate that these elements must be combined in specific pathways for knowledge-based innovative structures to emerge and embed. These pathways emerge from practitioner networks, markets for knowledge-based services, and professional firms' hierarchies. Our findings have important implications for studying innovation in the knowledge-based economy.The Academy of Management Journal 04/2015; 50(2):406-428. · 5.61 Impact Factor