If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

The Professionalization of Everyone?

Harold L. Wilensky
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 70, No. 2 (Sep., 1964), pp. 137-158
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2775206
Page Count: 22
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
The Professionalization of Everyone?
Preview not available

Abstract

A popular generalization is that occupations are becoming "professionalized". The label is loosely applied to increasing specialization and transferability of skill, the proliferation of objective standards of work, the spread of tenure arrangements, licensing, or certification, and the growth of service occupations. This paper argues that these loose criteria are less essential for understanding professional organization than the traditional model of professionalism which emphasizes autonomous expertise and the service ideal. Examination of the history of eighteen occupations uncovers a typical process by which the established professions have arrived. Among newer and marginal "professions," deviations from the process can be explained by power struggles and status strivings common to all occupations. Barriers to professionalization are pinpointed. Analisis of the optimal "technical" base for professionalism suggests that knowledge or doctrine which is too general and vague or too narrow and specific provides a weak base for an exclusive jurisdiction. Data on the clash between professional, organizational, and client orientations among 490 professors, lawyers, and engineers suggest that (1) bureaucracy may enfeeble the service ideal more than it threatens autonomy; (2) a client orientation undermines colleague control and professional norms. The main theme: (1) very few occupations will achieve the authority of the established professions; (2) if we call everything professionalization, we obscure the newer structural forms now emerging.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
137
    137
  • Thumbnail: Page 
138
    138
  • Thumbnail: Page 
139
    139
  • Thumbnail: Page 
140
    140
  • Thumbnail: Page 
141
    141
  • Thumbnail: Page 
142
    142
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[143]
    [143]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
144
    144
  • Thumbnail: Page 
145
    145
  • Thumbnail: Page 
146
    146
  • Thumbnail: Page 
147
    147
  • Thumbnail: Page 
148
    148
  • Thumbnail: Page 
149
    149
  • Thumbnail: Page 
150
    150
  • Thumbnail: Page 
151
    151
  • Thumbnail: Page 
152
    152
  • Thumbnail: Page 
153
    153
  • Thumbnail: Page 
154
    154
  • Thumbnail: Page 
155
    155
  • Thumbnail: Page 
156
    156
  • Thumbnail: Page 
157
    157
  • Thumbnail: Page 
158
    158