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Soc 2169 Final Textbook Notes.docx

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Sociology 2169
Stephen Adams

Sociology 2169 Textbook Notes Exam 4 FinalChapter 14 Professional Work Page 253268 Brief History th Professional work gained momentum in Canada in the 19 century as a result of industrial capitalism urbanization improved transportation and the development of a money economyBefore confederation following professions were considered the elite educated white men DoctorsLawyers Clergymen Post confederation governments passed legislation which regulated work of professionals and granted them virtual monopoly over practice in a given field Professionals saw this as being granted prestigeWhat is a ProfessionProfession a particular form of occupation distinguished by its organization the formation of professional societies that work in the occupations interest social status prestige and educational requirements eg LLB credentials for a lawyer Are organized into regulatory organizations etc There are various definitions of profession in sociology CharacteristicsWhat sets them apart from other occupationsExistence of associations advanced training esoteric knowledge not easily understood by general population service orientation code of ethics Longstanding status as professions withstood tests of timeGuided by a commitment to serving othersFlaw generally reflect the image that professional group want to display to the world Social influence and authority often overlooked Key question What quantity of each characteristic is required to be considered a profession Eg How much education is required From this we realize that other factors are also important PowerA common characteristic in definitions of a profession is powerProfessions occupations with great social influenceEg the work of a doctor can have life or death consequences determine whether someone is admitted to a hospital or incarcerated determine safety in societyFriedsonJohnson professions are best defined not according to a set of characteristics but through the ability of practitioners to control their occupationworklabour of those who work with themFoucault professional knowledge and expertise are both a source and product of power in modern societyCommon thought professions have both social privileges and a cultural influence that grants them power over individuals and societyCode of ethics ensure power is not abusedLimits of powerrelated definitions how much power does an occupation need to be considered a profession Need to acknowledge that recent social changes reduce power exercised by individual professionalsThis decline is power does not necessarily mean an end to professional status as it is not the only important characteristic Government RecognitionProfessions are occupations regulated by government legislation rights responsibilities and privilegesPossess social esteem people in society hold them in high regard and governments have recognized their possession of expertise via legislationRequirements are established so that only suitableknowledgeable people could perform this type of work barrier to othersDefinitions based on legislation are important because they define which groups have special privilegesA Folk ConceptFriedson we should treat the definition of profession as one that is historically change a folk conceptNot viewing it in an absolute senseUseful to explore the definition in a sociohistorical contexthow people determine who is a professional not a professional and how they make professions by their activities Varies between societiesCannot be generalized between countriesFlaw no concrete measure of a professionShows when and why professions seek to obtain legislation and what makes them successful in gaining it Overall the folk concept reveals that profession is not a fixed conceptit changesit varies socially geographically and historically Typically they hold characteristics of high income social esteem privilege in society education skill and organization
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