Controlling Professional Power: Is the Pendulum Swinging Too Far?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:15-15:45
Location: Hörsaal 17 (Juridicum)
RC52 Sociology of Professional Groups (host committee)

Language: English

Over the past 50 years in modern societies, following a more deferential era in the first part of the twentieth century, the power of professions has been under attack – not least as a result of claims about its abuse and misuse based on professional self-interests. As a result, the power of such bodies has seemingly been reduced with, amongst other things, pressure from government and consumer lobbies to enhance services and protect the public, the development of ever stronger multi-national corporate bodies, and the spread of the new public management in the state sector. This has led to a number of trends relating to professional groups, from deprofessionalisation and restratification to the creation of hybrid professions facing in more than one direction.
In terms of controlling professional power, this gives rise to the following questions concerning the future we want: Are these trends as clearly apparent as commonly depicted in research? Is professional power still too great? Or with the growth of a knowledge-based society has the pendulum now swung in the other direction? Do professions continue to have a positive role to play in future societies? Would the world be a better place with the demise of professional monopolies and a return to a more open market structure? How should we best conceptualise professions and power as we move forward in a challenging socio-economic environment?
Abstracts are invited for this regular paper presentation session on these and associated themes, covering a range of professional areas and national/international contexts.
Session Organizer:
Michael SAKS, University Campus Suffolk, United Kingdom
Michael SAKS, University of Suffolk, UK, United Kingdom
Professional Power and the New Governance
Mike DENT, Staffordshire University, United Kingdom
Revalidation Repercussions: Challenging the Power of Enforceable Trust
Zoey SPENDLOVE, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
Positioning the Professional: New Roles of Paid and Unpaid Workers in Care and Social Services
Marianne VAN BOCHOVE, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
The Vulnerability of Prudential Professions. How the Concept of Practical Wisdom Explains Increasing Pressure and Allows Revisiting the Practical Question of Professional Control
Florent CHAMPY, National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Societes, Solidarites, Territoires (LISST - Toulouse), France, France; Marc-Olivier DEPLAUDE, CRESSPA - Université Paris 8, France
Professions Under Pressure: Conflicting Demands in Academic Work and Child Care
Kristina BINNER, Johannes Kepler University, Austria; Fabienne DECIEUX, Johannes Kepler University, Austria