Similarities in Contexts and Theorizing: Professionalism and Inequality
For a long time sociologists of professions have differentiated Anglo-American and European contexts for professional work. The presentation will address this distinction and argue that processes of convergence now render such differences somewhat obsolete except in historical accounts. In addition the convergence of professional systems and of regulatory states is also generating new inequalities both between professional groups themselves as well as within the organizations in which practitioners work. The presentation will examine convergences and inequalities at the macro level. Aspects to be considered include the changing role of the nation-state, the internationization of markets, the increased significance of the work organization and the different logics of professionalism. The extent of convergence and continuing divergences will be explored and social inequalities indicated. Macro-level processes and procedures including the growth of ‘hybrid’ organizations and new forms of managerialism can constitute new types of inequality and forms of stratification both within and between professions. The historical starting points within Europe and nation-state differences in professional systems make convergences and inequalities both highly complex and extremely variable.
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