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Journal Article

Toward a New Model of the Information Professions: Embracing Empowerment

Mary Niles Maack
Journal of Education for Library and Information Science
Vol. 38, No. 4 (Fall, 1997), pp. 283-302
DOI: 10.2307/40324190
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40324190
Page Count: 20
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Toward a New Model of the Information Professions: Embracing Empowerment
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Abstract

In redefining the information professions for the twenty-first century, it is important to consider the core values embraced by these fields and to examine the relationship of professionals to their clients and to other professions. Because other models have failed to take account of professional-client interaction, this paper presents a new client-centered typology of the professions. Special emphasis is given to the empowering professions (such as psychology, social work, education, and librarianship), which all share the goal of enabling their clients to use knowledge for the purpose of taking control of their own lives. After offering a critique of the unquestioned assumptions and androcentric biases underlying modern theories of professionalization, this article presents a feminist perspective that validates the ethic of care in professional practice and acknowledges the importance of those professional activities whose goal is to diffuse knowledge, not to guard or control it.

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