People and Process in Social Security

By Karl De Schweinitz; American Council on Education Committee on Education and Social Security | Go to book overview

9. GRADUATE AND PRO­ FESSIONAL EDUCATION

The term profession . . . clearly stands for something. That something is a complex of characteristics. The acknowledged professions exhibit all or most of these features; they stand at the center, and all around them on all sides are grouped vocations exhibiting some but not all of these features. . . . It is the existence of specialized intellectual techniques, acquired as the result of prolonged training, which gives rise to professionalism and accounts for its peculiar features.

-- A. M. CARR-SAUNDERS and P. H. WILSON1

THE GRADUATE in the liberal arts who wants to enter social security by way of a profession needs a certain quality of preparation irrespective of the profession he chooses or of the place in the system of social insurance and public assistance in which he intends to practice. This preparation should equip him for activity in a social institution, employing the characteristic process which we have attempted to define, the process through which law is translated into benefits and related services.

Out of this process has come a special configuration of knowledge and skill which every careerist must in varying degree incorporate into his professional equipment. The purpose of the discussion in Part I has been to describe this configuration as a means of indicating the kind of education and training which social security requires. Basically, what the practitioner needs to assimilate--in part before, in part after he commences work--is the body of social and economic

____________________
1
A. M. Carr-Saunders and P. H. Wilson, The Professions ( Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933), pp. 284-85.

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