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Approaches And Debates From 1930s To Today

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Chapter Summary

From the publication in 1933 of The Professions by Alexander CarrSaunders and Paul Wilson through the 1970s the sociology of professions remained a largely Anglo-American enterprise. Talcott Parsons' early contributions were vital in increasing dramatically the theoretical sophistication of the emerging sociology of professions, which otherwise revolved around empirical generalizations. It is important to appreciate that two core tenets animated Parsons' sociology of professions across his entire career. During the 1970s the failure of functionalists to support the second core tenet of the received cultural and social-psychological approach to the sociology of professions set the backdrop for "revisionism," a second stage in this subfield. One irony of Prest's etymological overview is that he uses it explicitly in support of today's revisionist disregarding of both core tenets of the earlier sociology of professions.

Keywords: professions; revisionism; Talcott Parsons; two core tenets

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