Unformatted text preview: SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 25 October 2010 Most important…
soc 313 Instructor: QUINCY EDWARDS • Do take ownership of your education in this class by completing all reading and writing assignments on time and participating in on‐line discussions. • Read each of the assigned textbook chapters before viewing the supplemental Powerpoint presentations.
• Laulima is the University of Hawai‘i on‐line course management system. Links to the discussion board and other salient features are provided at: https://laulima.hawaii.edu/ SURVEY OF
SOCIOLOGY OF WORK THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF WORK (4TH Online
Instructor: Quincy Edwards ED.) OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS PART IV SOC 313: SURVEY OF SOCIOLOGY OF WORK Occupations and Professions CHAPTER Professionals are well‐educated, tend to work in jobs that require judgment and autonomy, and exercise control over the specialized knowledge of their profession, the other members of their occupational group, and other occupational groups. 11 Professions and Professionals
…and other readings 1 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Chapter Outline…
• How Sociologists Recognize Professions
• Evaluating the Four Hallmarks • Changing Degrees of Professionalization
• The Semiprofessions and the Paraprofessions
• The Future of the Professions Monday, 25 October 2010 Professions and Professionals…
Almost everyone recognizes a few occupations as being professions.
Other occupations have some characteristics of a profession, and still others seek collectively to acquire more of the characteristics of a profession. How Sociologists Recognize Professions…
PROFESSION—a high‐status, knowledge‐based occupation characterized by:
1. Abstract, specialized knowledge. How Sociologists Recognize Professions 2. Autonomy.
3. Authority over clients and subordinate occupational groups.
4. A certain degree of altruism. These are the hallmarks of a profession.
Occupations possessing the characteristics of a profession:
Law, Medicine, Ministry, Scientist, Military Officer, University Professor How Sociologists Recognize Professions…
PROFESSIONALIZATION—Process by which an occupational specialty seeks to emulate a profession by demonstrating the four hallmarks of a profession. • Identifying professions by a set of hallmarks—called the structural‐functional approach, the traits approach, or the characteristics approach.
• Some sociologists contend the professions are merely the powerful
occupations currently winning in the constant struggle among occupations to control preferred types of work.
For example, in pre‐industrial society, the most powerful occupations might have been hunter and shaman—
controlled food supply.
But hallmark theorists reply that hunter and shaman were occupations with greatest claim to the four hallmarks. How Sociologists Recognize Professions…
ABSTRACT, SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE
• Professions—knowledge‐based occupations.
• What distinguishes the professions is the type of knowledge they master.
• Common knowledge—generally known by many.
• Esoteric knowledge—known by only a few—generally considered important, even a matter of life or death, for well‐being of individuals or groups.
• In industrial society, number and variety of professionals—greatly expanded. • Base of human knowledge has exploded—continues to grow exponentially.
• Means those who transmit knowledge must become increasingly specialized; advanced industrial societies will require more numerous and more varied knowledge‐based workers. 2 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work How Sociologists Recognize Professions…
ABSTRACT, SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE Monday, 25 October 2010 How Sociologists Recognize Professions…
ABSTRACT, SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE Knowledge Base Professional Culture • Consists of three parts: • Every profession—a subculture, with characteristic jargon, behaviors, and lifestyles. 1. Theoretical knowledge—often acquired in college (e.g., physicians).
2. Detailed, practical information—can be applied in serving a client (professional organizations frequently require members to update their practical information in annual continuing education). • Professional schools convey (in addition to knowledge) the norms, values, lifestyles of the profession.
• Professional school faculty and practicing professionals—role models who demonstrate how to dress; how to interact with clients and peers. 3. Technique—application of the knowledge base—learned in applied or clinical portion of a professional training program or apprenticeship to more experienced professional. • Specialization encourages further division of labor among professionals (just as in other occupational groups). How Sociologists Recognize Professions…
AUTONOMY • Some preparation explicit—requirement that students complete courses in professional ethics.
• Other information shared informally—students learn from faculty to accord prestige to visible writers and researchers in the profession, and which specialties have higher prestige. How Sociologists Recognize Professions…
AUTHORITY • Means professionals rely on their own judgment in selecting the relevant knowledge or the appropriate technique for dealing with an immediate problem. Authority and Clients • Professionals justify their autonomy by their mastery of the knowledge base, although professional standards may place some limitations on autonomy. • Professionals can expect compliance with their orders—clients and subordinate occupational groups. • Autonomy in decision‐making generates issues of accountability.
• When knowledge is imp0rtant, highly specialized, and inaccessible—its misuse is important concern to both professional and layperson (as in case of physician or lawyer).
• Professions claim they police their own membership in interests of protecting the public. How Sociologists Recognize Professions…
AUTHORITY • Derived from mastery of the body of specialized knowledge. • Doctor‐patient relationship—implies doctor’s authority to expect compliance with the advice. Similarly, with lawyers, clergy and other professionals.
• Clients may ignore advice on issues they consider to be beyond the professional’s domain.
• Professionals consider “compliance”—getting clients to follow professional advice—a major problem. How Sociologists Recognize Professions…
AUTHORITY Authority Over Other Occupations
• Subordinate nature of some occupations—established by a larger organization.
• In some cases, subordinate worker is employee of the professional. …delegate routine patient care (feeding, bathing) to
NURSING STAFF ATTORNEYS PHYSICIANS • Dominant profession often delegates “dirty work” to subordinate occupations: …delegate routine legal work (standard forms, letters) to
LEGAL SECRETARIES Authority Over Other Occupations (continued)
• Professional associations—maintain authority of profession by seeking laws that establish licensing—prohibit practicing the profession without a license.
• Legal sanctions reinforce the profession’s claims to authority—prevent other occupations from competing in their area of expertise.
• Struggle among occupations for authority continues. (See Box 11.1, Midwives and the Struggle for Professional Recognition, on p.263 of text.) 3 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work How Sociologists Recognize Professions…
ALTRUISM Monday, 25 October 2010 How Sociologists Recognize Professions
ALTRUISM (CONTINUED) • Concern for others—implies that the professional will incur some self‐
sacrifice to help the client.
• Most professions have codes of ethics that express ideal relationship among the professional, client, and community.
• To violate a client’s confidentiality—breach of ethics. • Professions self‐police—May begin before admission to professional school—to determine whether prospective student is “of good character.” Various review boards and disciplinary committees of professional associations police the working professionals. May also have lay appointees who represent general public. • Professionals engage in public service in other ways:
• Pro bono publico work among lawyers—volunteered or performed for lower fee than usually charged. Association encourages individual professionals to donate serves to the poor or to nonprofit organizations.
• Noblesse oblige—an expectation that elites will be visible contributors to community life. Provide leadership to civic and voluntary endeavors. • Such community activities sometimes identified as more self‐serving than altruistic—professionals develop important contacts and referrals, receive prestige from community service, and monetary rewards of professional work. Evaluating the Four Hallmarks…
• The four hallmarks of a profession are a useful (but incomplete) starting point for understanding the professions and how they retain a position of power. Evaluating the Four Hallmarks • Knowledge base—one key to maintaining professional power. • Associations, political lobbying, and use of state laws to enforce privileges serve to maintain power while denying others a share in it.
• Maintaining professional power—also implies maintaining autonomy and authority. • Altruism—from power perspective, is mostly a smokescreen to prevent public from investigating internal workings of the profession. Evaluating the Four Hallmarks… Evaluating the Four Hallmarks…
MONOPOLIZING KNOWLEDGE HOW POWERFUL ARE THE PROFESSIONS?
• The professions are powerful occupational groups.
• Professions—attractive occupations—members wield real power over their own work lives. They…
1. Decide what they will do and how.
2. Direct other workers in their tasks.
3. Act to prevent other occupations from doing the same sort of work. Contemporary professionals monopolize knowledge by erecting three basic barriers to lay people: 1. Professional Schools—Admission intensely competitive. Commonly part of universities. Restriction of access helps maintain a higher price for professional services and higher incomes for the professionals.
2. Professional Associations— Gatekeepers—Represent interests of profession to outsiders, help form consensus within profession about norms for practice and social organization of the work.
3. Licensing—Only those who qualify with educational credentials and by passing examination receive license—protected by laws that make it illegal to practice without a state license. Either through licensing or through convincing employers to hire only trained graduates—profession acts collectively to restrict access to its knowledge base. 4 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Evaluating the Four Hallmarks… Monday, 25 October 2010 Evaluating the Four Hallmarks… POWER WITHIN THE PROFESSIONS CHANGES IN THE PROFESSIONS Structural‐functional approach—Principally concerned with distinguishing professions from other occupations. Neglects inequality within professions—
except that some specialties enjoy greater prestige than others. Structural‐functional approach—describes so‐called free professions—
individuals open their own practice , charge clients fees for services rendered. Conflict approach—Pays more attention to differential distribution of power within the professions. Most powerful professionals are likely to be:
• Those with greatest control over sources of knowledge (e.g., deans of professional schools).
• Those who possess most important and specialized knowledge.
• Those with most prestigious clients.
• Those who have most challenging and complex intellectual tasks.
• Those with greatest organizational or personal resources to maximize their autonomy and authority. Evaluating the Four Hallmarks…
CHANGES IN THE PROFESSIONS (CONTINUED)
• Related change—Increased employment of professionals in other organizations (universities, research organizations, major corporations, government agencies).
Example: Most large corporations employ lawyers who work as staff members—subjects professional to bureaucratic or organizational authority that may supersede their professional authority. Authority—further eroded when only client is also the employer. • Also major change—Entry of third parties (especially government) into professional‐client relationship. Most evident when third party pays for professional services (e.g., medical care paid by insurance company or by government through Medicaid or Medicare). Link between receiving and paying for services is severed; third party’s judgment about needed services or professional’s charges may be questioned. • Today, relatively few independent professionals. Many are also employees (e.g., physicians in health maintenance organizations).
• Advantage of group practice rather than independent practice: Overhead expenses such as rent, furniture, equipment, support staff,
insurance, and accounting are pooled. Fees for services also pooled—professionals usually compensated with salaries; partners may also receive share of profits. Only licensed professionals can be shareholders.
• Other arrangements—Reorganization of medical practice as franchises or conglomerate organizations—small clinics (McDoctor Clinics) that offer rapid medical attention to minor medical situations. Evaluating the Four Hallmarks
ARE THE PROFESSIONS MERITOCRACIES?
• Groups in which rewards are based on achievement.
• Achievement is presumably—mastering the core of knowledge, contributing to new knowledge or techniques, or practicing the profession well.
• High monetary and symbolic rewards used to attract most capable individuals into the profession.
• At one time, the courts upheld rights of state legislatures and of the bar association to exclude women from professions. IN 2005… Women accounted for 30% lawyers 32% physicians MEDIAN WEEKLY EARNINGS COMPARED TO THOSE OF MALE PROFESSIONALS Women 77% 61% • Women now constitute half or more of many medical, law, and dental classes. Changing Degrees of Professionalization…
• Professionalization—The effort by an occupational group to raise its collective standing by taking on characteristics of a profession. Changing Degrees of Professionalization • Professionalism—The competence and effectiveness of workers in their job performance. ____________
• Professionalization—often occurs in occupations with considerable heterogeneity in training and background of their members. • Often takes form of seeking to adopt the four hallmarks of the professions to a greater or lesser extent—usually initiated and maintained by leaders of the occupation. 5 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Changing Degrees of Professionalization…
Steps in Professionalizing
1. Forming an organization or strengthening an existing one—seeking to convince general public, state legislature, and perhaps other professions that its claims to professional status are legitimate. 2. Standardizing the body of knowledge that members of the occupation should have—requires developing courses of training; most groups seek to locate training in universities. Usually develops own research program, journals, and continuing education. Professionalizing group must convince public that the knowledge is important—that only those graduates who complete certification process should be assumed to possess the knowledge. Possibly convince legislative body to mandate that workers in occupation be licensed or certified. Changing Degrees of Professionalization…
Deprofessionalization (sometimes called postprofessionalism)—Process of weakening or eliminating the professional characteristics of an occupational group.
Demystifying and Empowering—Demystifying the esoteric knowledge of the profession so that it is more widely shared among general public; empowering the consumer because consumer knowledge redresses the imbalance in professional‐
• Publicized cases of malpractice—may induce consumers to learn more about professional knowledge in order to make better choices in seeking professional advice.
• Non‐competing occupations (journalists, broadcasters) also responsible for demystifying knowledge—disseminate medical and health information through websites, newsletters, magazines, newspapers, radio and television programs. Thus consumers become more informed about improving health through lifestyle changes and preventive medicine. Monday, 25 October 2010 Changing Degrees of Professionalization…
Obstacles to Professionalizing
1. Most significant obstacle—Opposition of existing professions.
Established professions—monopolize knowledge; are gatekeepers for other functions (e.g., physicians control access to prescription drugs). 2. Most would‐be professionals do not practice independently—work for large organizations.
3. Public skepticism—one element of a countermovement called “deprofessionalization.” Some consumers have come to resent the professions; claims to expert knowledge, autonomy, authority likely to be taken with a grain of salt by the public and elected officials. Changing Degrees of Professionalization
• Potential threat to autonomy and authority of the professional.
• May compromise the right of the professional to be judged by others in professional community. • In bureaucratic organization, professional is reduced to making suggestions or offering recommendations.
• Also, employing organization will have own set or rules and procedures—may conflict with ethics or sound practice of the profession.
• Professionals in large organizations—m ay find loyalties shift from profession to company and, perhaps, to trade association with which their company is affiliated.
• New concern for professionals—increasing abilityof large firms to outsource professional work (accounting, computer programming) to other countries. The Semiprofessions and the Paraprofessions…
• Occupational group that has achieved some of the characteristics of a profession or possesses each hallmark of a profession in a limited way. The Semiprofessions
and the Paraprofessions • Many people accord workers in these occupations professional status.
• Studies conducted by government statistical agencies—classify as professional.
• Major semiprofessions—elementary and secondary schoolteachers, librarians, social worker, registered nurses—dominated by women. (See Figure 11.2, Percentage of Women and Minorities in Semiprofessions
and Paraprofessions, 2005, on p.276 in text.) Other occupations: opticians, human resources officers, systems analysts.
• Semiprofessions have body of knowledge—usually do not monopolize it or erect barriers to entry. 6 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work The Semiprofessions and the Paraprofessions…
THE SEMIPROFESSIONS (CONTINUED) Monday, 25 October 2010 The Semiprofessions and the Paraprofessions
THE PARAPROFESSIONS • Problem occurs when semi‐profession’s body of knowledge closely overlaps that of established profession. • Work closely with professionals—usually doing tasks delegated and supervised by them. Example: Registered nurses, pharmacists share many aspects of professional knowledge with physicians. Physicians are established, powerful profession—can limit nurses’ and pharmacists’ abilities to use the information, even though they may know what medication would normally be effective for specific condition. • Dominant professions dictates conditions of training/certification—provides guidelines mandating point at which member of dominant profession must be consulted. • Semiprofessions—only partial autonomy—most work in bureaucratic settings. Even so, within constraints, has discretion in dealing with individual clients. • Paraprofessions (unlike semiprofessions) have more limited body of knowledge
—although much of knowledge base overlaps that of dominant profession. • Most have some form of licensing or credential; still lack autonomy and organized power of the professions.
• Lack of collective power is single most important difference between semi‐
professions and professions. • Have substantial responsibility—but little autonomy because of close supervisory relationship with professional.
• Like semiprofessions—many predominantly female. In U.S., 97% of dental hygienists and 86% of legal assistants are women. The Future of the Professions…
Two views of the future:
1. Talcott Parsons suggests—future will be the age of professions; professionals exercising great social control over work and knowledge. The Future of the Professions 2. Ivan Illich suggests—deprofessionalization will accelerate—we will wonder why we accorded so much authority to the professions.
• Professions—backbone of the “new middle class”—based on knowledge rather than on possession of capital. • Many professionals—in demand by large organizations. • Individually and collectively, have gathered political and economic power.
• Self‐organization and control over their work environment—often envied by other workers with little such control. Future of the Professions (continued)… Future of the Professions (continued)… Professions are changing. Consequences…
• Intellectual obsolescence—professionals who cannot keep up with new knowledge.
• Routinization of professional judgment—More accessible information may deskill individual professional by putting more control in hands of managers, technicians, bureaucrats—lead to lower value placed on professional knowledge and judgment.
• Pressure for specialization—also created need for integration. Knowledge needed to solve problem may require that several specialists be integrated by a generalist. Alternative—train more professionals as generalists rather than specialists.
• Key unanswered question for future: Who will exercise social control over esoteric knowledge? • Traditional practices of professions—challenged by globalization, information technology, and other developments.
• New bodies of knowledge may challenge old claims of professions (e.g., acupuncture, herbs, various therapies now compete with traditional Western medicine).
• Established professions and occupations seeking to professionalize—affected by deprofessionalization. • Autonomy of professional to set fees—affected by court decisions and third‐
party regulation. 7 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 25 October 2010 Future of the Professions (continued)
Despite challenges… • Professions retain considerable strength—knowledge bases continue to grow, leading to more specialized services. • Legislatures still defer to professional authority.
• Individual professionals—accorded high prestige within community. Quick Review • Most command incomes well above median income for all workers.
• Professionals remain among the most powerful of workers. Review…
Professions are high‐status, knowledge‐based occupations.
• Characterized by monopoly over advanced, specialized knowledge; by autonomy; by authority over clients and over subordinate occupations; by degree of altruism.
• Attempt to self‐regulate by using associations to maintain legal perquisites, erecting barriers to entry, policing behavior of members.
• Associations monitor professional schools, codes of ethics, educate public on importance of the profession. Also maintain members’ authority against competing claims of other occupations whose members may have mastered similar bodies of knowledge.
• Conflict approach—Four hallmarks of professions are more result of professional power than its cause.
• Structural‐functional approach—Stresses struggle for power among members of profession; among professions; between professions and other occupational groups. Review (continued)…
• Professionalization—Process by which occupational groups seek to improve their collective status by more closely resembling a profession.
• Semi‐professionals—lower‐status, knowledge‐based occupations seeking to emulate professional model.
• Paraprofessionals—helper occupations in service of dominant profession. Tied to particular profession that oversees their training, daily performance, evaluation.
• Deprofessionalization—important challenge to existing professions. Individual professionals may lose autonomy when employed in large, professional firms; bureaucratic organizations or government agencies.
• Professions face challenges from general public (no longer passive clients), new government regulations, demands of third‐party payers, and unionization of their own members.
• Nevertheless, as knowledge expands and economy is increasingly transformed by knowledge and service industries—collective prestige of professions is likely to grow. At this point, you should be able to: 1. Define the terms “profession” “professional,” and “professionalization.”
2. Identify and explain the four hallmarks of the professions.
3. Distinguish between the structural‐functional and the conflict views of the profession.
4. Identify the stages of professionalizationn and to explain how deprofessionalization develops.
5. Define semi‐professions and paraprofessions and distinguish between them.
6. Explain how the professions affect and interact with other occupations. Ch.11 Discussion
Choose an occupation you have considered for your own career. Describe how this occupation might try to develop abstract knowledge, authority, autonomy, and altruism in its efforts to professionalize or to maintain professional status.
Proceed to discussion link at Laulima and engage! 8 ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2010 for the course SOC 313 taught by Professor Edwards during the Fall '10 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.
- Fall '10