Uncertainties, Reflexivity and Rigidities in Professional Work

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Hörsaal 4C G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
RC52 Sociology of Professional Groups (host committee)

Language: English

Professionals often make decisions under uncertainty. Future brings uncertainty, as in medical prognosis for instance. Yet it is not the only source. Medical diagnoses may also remain uncertain despite meticulous examinations. In judicial activities, the circumstances of an offence are not always known for sure. Consequently, no automaticity provides an unquestionable solution. However professionals must act. 
In-depth analysis, deliberations and experience-based judgments are required to face uncertainties, adapt work to the uniqueness of situations and seek to avoid mistakes. This explains the historic importance of case work in professional cultures and trainings. Collective processes are implemented, for instance multidisciplinary meetings, notably in medicine, and rules of deliberations, as in courts. 
At the same time work is more and more framed by devices such as quantitative indicators, protocols, and formalized rules, which may be elaborated by professionals or imposed by managers or both. These devices can be helpful when they are based on collective experience. Yet they are also simplifications and abstractions, as they are designed to be used in various situations. Thus they may prevent professionals from taking proper account of cases’ uniqueness. Consequently, the degree of pressure put on work by rigid devices is a crucial issue. 
In this session we invite researchers to submit papers on professional practices to face uncertainties and adapt work to the uniqueness of cases, on the difficulties met to do so or on the constraints and rigidities coming from within or without the profession. Papers dealing with both deliberations and rigidities would be much appreciated.
Session Organizer:
Florent CHAMPY, National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Centre de recherche Technique, Organisations, Pouvoir (CERTOP - Toulouse), France
Florent CHAMPY, National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Societes, Solidarites, Territoires (LISST - Toulouse), France, France
What Is ‘Good Doctoring' – in the Perspective of Antibiotic Resistance As a Global Issue?
Inge Kryger PEDERSEN, Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Theorising the Experiences of Professionals in Their Handling of Uncertainty through ‘Risk': Towards a Sociology of Risk Work in Healthcare
Patrick BROWN, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands; Nicola GALE, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Responsive Routines
Marlot KUIPER, Utrecht School of Governance, Netherlands
Mindfulness in Cooperation
Ines LANGEMEYER, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany