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Occupational Orientations Of Professionalism: “Dividing Line” In The Occupational Order

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Chapter Summary

Professionals not only provide expert services in structured situations consistently with two sets of fiducial responsibilities. They also do so consistently with two occupational orientations. Here is where the distinction between professions and other expert occupations begins blurring both analytically and empirically. The dividing line serves two purposes in the sociology of professions. One purpose is that it indeed accounts for why the term "professional" is applied so broadly colloquially. The other purpose is that the same dividing line reemphasizes the importance of the structural and institutional qualities of professionalism identified earlier, for these are indeed uniquely constitutive of professions exclusively. The dividing line reveals why professions and the consequences of professionalism are indeed distinctive, irrespective of scholarly confusion and quotidian usage. The thesis is that in distinguishing professions from other occupations both analytically and empirically it is vital, first, to identify the structural qualities distinctive to professionalism exclusively.

Keywords: occupational orientations; professionalism



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