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Chapter Summary

Since the 1930s, sociologists have been theorizing about occupations and their development. The terms adopted for that purposeprofession, professional, and professionalizationare also widely used by the general public. Their meaning, however, often remains unclear. Even among sociologists, there is little terminological or theoretical consensus. The term professionalization is used to refer to all sorts of social developments, including a shift toward employing professionals (rather than volunteers or amateurs), the gradual infiltration of rational procedures, the increase in the number of professions, and, most commonly, the transformation of a particular occupation into a profession. New, alternative terms have also come into use: professionalism, proto-professionalization, and de-professionalization. This chapter explores the meaning of these concepts, the general structure of the related theories, and their potential value in historical and sociological research into the professional development of nineteenth-century Dutch pastors.

Keywords: nineteenth-century Dutch pastors; professional development



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