Pursuing Professional Interests at the Local Policy Level: A Comparative Case Study


  • Anne Sofie Kjær Joensen University of Copenhagen
  • Marius Brostrøm Kousgaard University of Copenhagen
  • Viola Burau Aarhus University




The relationship between the state and organized occupational groups is a salient issue in the sociology of professions, but which has been changing considerably over recent decades. This paper revisits state-professions dynamics at the local level especially in relation to welfare service professions. The contribution is two-fold: empirically, we investigate how welfare professionals attempt to influence local policies; theoretically, we adapt the notion of social closure introduced by the sociology of professions to local institutional contexts. The analysis is based on a comparative case study of two groups of welfare professionals in two Danish municipalities. Empirically, our study shows that welfare professionals actively consider the local institutional context when acting to promote the interests of their own professional groups. Theoretically, our study identifies three dimensions of local closure strategies; the strategies involve both administrative and practising professionals and within that offensive/defensive as well as direct/indirect means.


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How to Cite

Kjær Joensen, A. S., Kousgaard, M. B., & Burau, V. (2014). Pursuing Professional Interests at the Local Policy Level: A Comparative Case Study. Professions and Professionalism, 4(3). https://doi.org/10.7577/pp.643




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