"THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY"
OF PROFESSIONS: OVERVIEW OF THE
THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN THE
SOCIOLOGY OF PROFESSIONS
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture
|INDECS 19(1), 80-93, 2021
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Received: 4th January 2021.
This article offers a brief overview of the history of research in the field of the sociology of professions. It presents the development of sociological theoretical approaches in the study of professions, its main research areas, basic concepts over time, and changes in the definition of profession itself over time. Beginning with a short outline of the classical theories in which sociological studying of professions finds its origins, the article proceeds with a more detailed presentation of the three main approaches and development stages of sociology of professions - the functionalist, the interactionalist and the social conflict. Apart from presenting the main research focuses of these approaches, this article also explores different concepts and views of profession, beginning with the "profession" in functionalism, moving on to the "professionalization" in interactionism and ending with the "professionalism" in the social conflict phase. Following this transformation, the article also describes the shift from profession's initially socially constructive to rather obstructive image over the years and across the approaches. Finally, it reflects on the thesis of the "death" of the discipline and research field of the sociology of professions and reviews contemporary approaches to the subject that are either turning mainly into micro studies of specific professions or falling out of the field of sociology and becoming the research focus of disciplines seeking to maintain or establish the status of being a profession themselves.
profession, sociology of professions, functionalism, interactionalism, social conflict, micro studies