"This work is the capstone of Eliot Freidsona s extraordinarily distinguished career as a medical sociologist and student of the professions. The book summarizes a wide range of literature within Freidsona s innovative and profound theory of professionalism as a "logic" of institutions different from (and in conflict with) the logics of the market and of bureaucracy. It should be required reading for anyone concerned with the vital issue of the importance of -- and contemporary threats to -- the social values intrinsic to professionalism." Robert Alford, City University of New York "As learned and tightly argued as any work in the Weberian tradition, this book develops an ideal--type analysis of professionalism that transcends the particular circumstances of specific occupations. Freidsona s distinctions between professions, technical occupations and crafts are likely to inform all subsequent discussions. Everyone who studies the professions will need to take this important book into account." Steven Brint, University of California, Riverside
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From the Inside Flap
This new work explores the meaning and implications of professionalism as a form of social organization. Eliot Freidson formalizes professionalism by treating it as an ideal type grounded in the political economy; he presents the concept as a third logic, or a more viable alternative to consumerism and bureaucracy. He asks us to imagine a world where workers with specialized knowledge and the ability to provide society with especially important services can organize and control their own work, without directives from management or the influence of free markets.
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Freidson then appraises the present status of professionalism, exploring how traditional and national variations in state policy and organization are influencing the power and practice of such professions as medicine and law. Widespread attacks by neoclassical economists and populists, he contends, are obscuring the social value of credentialism and monopolies. The institutions that sustain professionalism in our world are simply too useful to both capital and state to dismiss.