The Rise of Professionalism: A Sociological Analysis

By Magali Sarfatti Larson | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 11
PROFESSION AND BUREAUCRACY

The generalized tendency toward professionalization is commonly seen as one of the characteristic features of the occupational structure in advanced industrial societies. This tendency is part of a complex transformation which is typically seen to involve:

(1)...decreasing occupational specialization with an increasing proportion of professionals and technicians in the labor force, (2)...a status-assignment system in which contribution in one's field is a major status criterion and gaining professional recognition an increasingly important mobility pattern, (3)...a system of power in which the professional is increasingly dominant, and (4)...a class structure in which there is decreasing class cleavage with class distinctions based upon access to education.1

This description is imbued with a questionable optimism about the evolution of work -- that is, about the autonomy and responsibility actually attached to formally upgraded jobs -- and about the social effects of mass education. However, its most general implications can hardly be questioned: the multiplication and apparent generalization of professional roles are related to deep changes in class structure and in ideology.

With oversimplification, two main tendencies can be made accountable for the structural changes in the stratification system: one is the tendency of the organic composition of capital to change, with the consequence that science and technology are ever more closely integrated with the productive process and labor is released from industrial production. The other tendency, related to the former but analytically distinct, is the diffusion of the bureaucratic mode of organization.


THE GROWTH OF ORGANIZATIONAL PROFESSIONS

The predominant role of applied science and technology generates new professions or, rather, new specialties, as well as new demands for the application of "old" knowledge and skills.2 These skilled and highly specialized functions tend to emerge in the monopoly and in the state sectors of the economy, while the relatively autonomous evolution of basic research generates new fields and new disciplines that are essentially contained in the university.

-178-

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.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
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.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Rise of Professionalism: A Sociological Analysis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
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?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
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.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

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.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?