Market Closure and the Conflict Theory of the Professions

This paper approaches the process of professionalization through the lens of sociological conflict theory. Collins claims that occupations do not simply respond to the market, but influence it, and those that are successful gain the status of professions. Professions are defined by the combination of market closure (monopoly) and status honour (prestige.)
Collins follows Weber’s and Schumpeter’s analyses of monopolisation and de-monopolisation trends, and applies these insights to occupational closure. This allows him to interpret labour organisation and professional hierarchies, as well as the power struggles between occupations as the factors of occupational closure. He also considers status honour an ideological cover for professions’ pragmatic self-advocacy. The paper ends with the introduction of an opposing trend, deprofessionalisation, and offers possible explanations for the waning status of professions.

Released: Replika 119–120, 37–54.
Replika block:
Ilona Kappanyos