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Independent Socio-Cultural Authority Of Professionalism

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Chapter Summary

Invariant structural characteristics of professionalism reveal the place and purpose of professions in civil society. Professions are unique instances of occupational upgrading within structured situations. Because professionalism always and everywhere unfolds within structured situations, and the latter always and everywhere are constituents of either intermediary associations or state agencies, this brings into view a third quality of professionalism, of the place and purpose of professions in civil society. A profession's independent socio-cultural authority always and everywhere rests ultimately upon it successfully codifying, standardizing and disseminating standards of accomplishment-epistemological and didactic, instructional and occupational-which are inter subjectively cognizable and, therefore, in principle open to inspection. Always and everywhere profession leaders purposefully establish and maintain these standards, and thus this authority. This holds, again, even when they happen otherwise to be professionalizing inadvertently, as did the Paris visual Académie.

Keywords: Académie; civil society; independent socio-cultural authority; professionalism; professions

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