This article studies how professional elites, as exemplified by first teachers (FTs)—a new prominent position for teachers in Sweden—respond to clashes between market and professional logics, and how this affects professional control vis-à-vis clients. Based on a collaborative ethnography, findings suggest that the professional elites use different responses to the clashes between the logics. Professional control can be strengthened by FTs co-opting the market logic strategically in the interest of the profession. However, FTs sometimes also succumb to cliental influence, becoming co-opted themselves by the market logic, which weakens professional control. Tentatively, context needs to be highlighted in order to understand why different responses are used, and in this identity work and relationships to managers seem essential to create a foundation for FTs to respond in ways that increase professional control vis-à-vis clients.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Sanna Eklund
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