SOCB54H3 Lecture 12: Wk12_The Professions Lecture notes

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9 Dec 2016
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Abstract/Specialised Knowledge:
all jobs require some skill and knowledge: the question is how much
-professional jobs require knowledge that only a few have the capacity to acquire
-professional knowledge is linked to the well-being of individuals (doctors and medical
knowledge, lawyers and legal knowledge)
Where is this knowledge acquired?
Professional schools (U of T’s law school, medical School)
Who monitors and controls the professional schools, and the profession itself?
Professional Associations (e.g. Law Society of Upper Canada, Ontario medical
Association):
-they act as gatekeepers, controlling entry to the profession
-All professions require a license (how is this acquired?)
- It is illegal to practice without a license
- ‘Imposters’: what do they tell us about’ rare and esoteric knowledge’?
Professional associations are sometimes reluctant to accredit new members. Why? What would
the cynic say?
Professional knowledge often creates a gap between professionals and their clients
-possession of esoteric knowledge enhances the status of the profession, as does professional
dress (the importance of a white coat] it’s and demeanour (sometimes referred to as the process
of mystification)
-professional knowledge (and its mysticism) discourages us from doing tasks of professions want
to retain monopoly control over:
-writing our own wills
-defending ourselves in court
Autonomy
-professionals have significant amount of control over their work situation freedom to choose
how to do their job
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