The Autonomy of Professions

Autonomy is one of the keywords of the literature on professionalisation, and yet studies in the field of historical sociology have for the most part neglected to use it consistently.  The goal of the paper introducing the thematic block is to present the greater turning points in sociological literature concerned with the concept of autonomy, to contextualise the concept, and to use ex-amples from the development of professions in 19th-20th century Hungarian history to demon-strate the wide variety of obstacles that emerging professions faced in their struggle for auton-omy. Based on the theoretical literature and the two theoretical articles featured in the block (the writings of Randall Collins and Hannes Siegrist) we can highlight three key perspectives of analysis. First, the relationship of professionals and society (as clients, users and consumers); then, the relationship between a given profession and the state; and finally, the relationships between a profession and other occupations and professions. The historical sociological case studies featured in the block demonstrate the particularities of these perspectives as it relates to a specific profession (teachers, lawyers and pharmacists respectively.)

Released: Replika 119–120, 7–16.
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