Jan. 17, 2017
SOCY 303 – Lecture # 6 (Week 3)
• Last Time:
o Textbook review: Chapter 1-3, 5
o Review Parkin: exclusion and closure
o Authority and capital(s) (Bourdieu)
o Case studies on knowledge claims: Timmersmans (2005)
• Professional claims in changing times
o Key question: How are professions able to maintain their claims to authority, their
autonomy, their expert knowledge in changing times?
Changing labour markets
o One way to address this question:
By forming dominant groups and excluding others (Parking 1979)
o But, what factors shape who gets access to these dominant groups?
Economic, cultural, social, symbolic capital (Bourdieu)
o Case studies on knowledge claims: Harrits and Larsen (2016)
o Essay assignment outline
o A professional continuum and professionalization
o When does a profession become a profession?
What are holistic nutritional professionals?
Professionalizing complementary and alternative practitioners (CAMs)
Emergency ambulance work
• Harrits and Larsen (2016)
o What’s important here:
Discussion of professional authority and individualization Jan. 17, 2017
➢ As new technology develops and society develops professions will
➢ Constant battle for boundaries in professions
Discussion of authority as comprising both social authority and cultural
Comparison of teachers and physicians’ claims to authority over long (60
years) period (Denmark)
Application of Parkin’s concept of closure, dual closure (p.166)
• A professional continuum
o Paraprofessional semi-professional professional
Paraprofessional occupational groups that provide direct support for
professionals. E.g. paralegals provide direct support to lawyers
Semi-professional some sophisticated knowledge that is independent
from professional. E.g. nurses, teachers
Professional have all knowledge required to be a professional. E.g.
o How would you classify a teaching assistant (TA)?
Paraprofessional – provide direct support to professors
o How many “core” properties do an occupation have?
Semi-professionals only display a partial set of “core” properties
Required properties for professions – education, specialized knowledge,
o Why are nurses considered semi-professions? What properties are they missing?
They do work independently from doctors but lack exclusivity over
knowledge, thus they have to defer authority to professional group
Key component of semi-professions deferring authority to
o Traditional professionals represent “ideal type” (weber)
Sharing characteristics. E.g. lawyers – share autonomy, regulation,
education, etc. Jan. 17, 2017
o “An ideal type is formed by the one-sided accentuation of one or more points of
view and by the synthesis of a great many diffuse, discrete, more or less present
and occasionally absent concrete individual phenomena, which are arra