The Rise of Professionalism: A Sociological Analysis

By Magali Sarfatti Larson | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
THE CONSTITUTION OF PROFESSIONAL MARKETS

The emergence of professional markets in the competitive phase of capitalism was an accessory development in a much more formidable transformation. In structure and ideology, the emerging modern professions foreshadowed much that could be realized in practice only in our century, when capitalism entered its corporate phase. In the first half of the nineteenth century, however, when professions began to organize and reform themselves, they were part of a world that was being subverted and reshaped by "the utopian endeavor of economic liberalism to set up a self-regulating market system."1 These words, as well as the very expression "great transformation," are Karl Polanyi's; the general thrust of his brilliant interpretation is well known:

For a century, the dynamics of modern society was governed by a double movement: the market expanded continuously but this movement was met by a countermovement checking the expansion in definite directions. Vital though such a countermovement was for the protection of society, in the last analysis, it was incompatible with the self-regulation of the market, and thus with the market system itself.2

Now it is customary to say that professions are "those occupations in which caveat emptor cannot be allowed to prevail and which, while they are not pursued for gain, must bring to their practitioners income of such a level that they will be respected and such a manner of living that they may pursue the life of the mind."3 It would be tempting, then, to consider the professions as expressions of Polanyi's "countermovement" and thus account for their paradoxical position: for they are, in fact, one of the distinctive features of industrial capitalism, even though they claim to renounce the profit motive and appear to some as "a mere survival of the medieval guild."4 But such an account would not only be too simple; it would also incorporate uncritically much of the professions' appearances and ideological self-conceptions.

A first step to render modern professions sociologically intelligible is to reflect on their historical origins: professions were and are means of earning an income on the basis of transacted services; in a society that was being reorganized around the centrality of the market, the professions could hardly escape the effects of this reorganization. The modern model of profession emerges as a consequence of the necessary response of professional producers to new opportunities for earning an

-9-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Rise of Professionalism: A Sociological Analysis
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 312

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.