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The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor (Institutions) Paperback – August 15, 1988

ISBN-13: 978-0226000695 ISBN-10: 0226000699 Edition: 0th
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andrew Abbott is the Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He edits the American Journal of Sociology.
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Product Details

  • Series: Institutions
  • Paperback: 452 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (August 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226000699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226000695
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
When I was thinking about writing the history of a professional society, I was urged to do some reading on professions. It was discouraging. The authorities had been going in circles for years, until Abbott came along and clarified the topic. His book was well-received; as I recall he was a visiting professor in New Jersey before it was published, and a full professor at Chicago soon afterwards.
Actually, there are several new ideas. One them is that professions restrict their markets when they attempt to raise their fees by adding barriers to entry. Since demand is stable or rising, this creates opportunity for other groups to move in "below." As physicians' time becomes ever more valuable, RNs achieve the status of practitioners and LPNs fill in. Aides are now certified, and so on. This seminal idea was published in 1988. Almost ten years later, Clayton Christensen described in his well-regarded Innovators' Dilemma how a corporate fixation on upselling existing customers assured that less lucrative markets would be neglected, providing rich opportunities for new entrants. The parallel is striking.
Whether you have any interest in his topic, Abbott's exposition is worth studying as a model of effective rhetoric. And the writing is vivid; he worked for years in a large mental hospital, "After five years, . . . I had helped administer several tons of thorazine, mellaril and their cousins . . ."
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rebeca on January 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The contest is very interesting and useful for sociology students working on this field. I bought a used version from which I expected better quality.
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