The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor

Paperback | August 15, 1988

byAndrew Abbott

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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 inquiries 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 professionals evolve.

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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 inquir...

Andrew Abbott is the Ralph Lewis Professor and Chairman of the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:452 pages, 9.11 × 6.11 × 1.1 inPublished:August 15, 1988Publisher:University Of Chicago Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226000699

ISBN - 13:9780226000695

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Table of Contents

Preface
1. Introduction
The Professions Literature
The Concept of Professionalization
Cases of Professional Development
I. Work, Jurisdiction, and Competition
2. Professional Work
Objective and Subjective
Diagnosis
Treatment
Inference
Academic Knowledge
3. The Claim of Jurisdiction
Audiences
Settlements
Internal Structure
4. The System of Professions
The Implications of Exclusion: A System of Professions
Sources of Systems Disturbances
The Mechanisms of Jurisdiction Shift: Abstractions
Conclusion
II. The System's Environment
5. Internal Differentiation and the Problem of Power
Internal Stratification
Client Differentiation
Workplace, Workplace Structure, and Internal Divisions of Labor
Career Patterns
Power
6. The Social Environment of Professional Development
Forces Opening and Closing Jurisdictions
The Internal Organization of Professional Work
Changing Audiences for Jurisdictional Claims
Co-optable Powers, Oligarchy, and the New Class
7. The Cultural Environment of Professional Development
Changes in the Organization of Knowledge
New Forms of Legitimacy
The Rise of Universities
III. Three Case Studies
8. The Information Professions
The Qualitative Task Area
The Quantitative Task Area
The Combined Jurisdiction
9. Lawyers and Their Competitors
Potential Jurisdictional Conflicts of the Legal Profession
Complaints about Unqualified Practice and Other Invasions
Conclusions
10. The Construction of the Personal Problems Jurisdiction
The Status of Personal Problems, 1850-75
The First Response to "American Nervousness"
The Psychiatric Revolution
The Rise of Psychotherapy
Conclusion: The Clergy Surrender
11. Conclusion
The System of Professions
History
Theory and the Professions
Notes
References
Index