The Sociology of the Professions: Lawyers, Doctors and Others

Quid Pro Books
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Robert Dingwall and Philip Lewis’s renowned compilation of diverse studies—written by internationally recognized theorists and empirical researchers into the sociology of the professions—was groundbreaking when first published in 1983 and has influenced scholars, practitioners, and professionals since. Not limited to one occupation or field, as are most such works, this collection examines across traditional fields the idea and practice of professions and professionals. 

The 2014 digital edition features a substantive new Foreword by Professor Sida Liu of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He notes that this book “is a rare effort to fully compare the two classic cases of doctors and lawyers in the professions literature. The contributors of the book include a number of prominent authors on the professions in Britain and the United States. Until today, it remains a vitally important volume for scholars and students interested in various aspects of professional life.” “Looking back,” Liu adds, “one must be struck by the extent to which theorists of professions and empirical researchers on doctors and lawyers from both the UK and US fully engage with one another throughout the book.” He concludes that the reemergence of “this excellent book three decades after its initial publication will reconfirm its status as a classic collection of essays on the professions.”

The Sociology of the Professions brings together enduring work by some of the most influential writers on the sociology of the professions. It is a deliberate attempt to extend the theoretical basis of the specialty by a comparative approach, using data and interviews on medicine and law. Recognized advances in understanding the professions resulted from the work of medical sociologists on the division of labor in health care and on the relation between health services and society. Their foundation, though, appeared uncertain in the absence of comparable material on other sectors. At the same time, the sociology of law has tended to neglect the study of the profession in favor of the analysis of statutes and their effects. But law is not just what is written in legislation; it is people’s work. Our understanding of the social organization of legal services is incomplete without that perspective.

The contributors to this volume are recognized authorities from a variety of fields, from the UK and US. They include Dingwall and Lewis, as well as Paul Atkinson, Maureen Cain, John Eekelaar, Eliot Freidson, Marc Galanter, Gordon Horobin, Malcolm Johnson, Geoff Mungham, Topsy Murray, Alan Paterson, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, P.M. Strong, and Philip Thomas. Their studies fall into three categories: “Professions, Knowledge and Power,” “Professional Work,” and “Professional Careers.” The volume retains a comprehensive bibliography of relevant British and US sources on the study of the professions in law, medicine, and beyond.

Reviews of the original edition include:

“Dingwall and Lewis have provided an exemplar of what an edited volume can be. Its comparativism, its span of European and American scholarship, its internal debates, its efforts to press into new theoretical terrain, all add to a refreshing and challenging collection. In fact, this volume would be a far better entree to the enduring questions of professions in modern societies than the limp alternatives too frequently served in its place.”
— Terence Halliday in Social Forces

“This anthology provides an exceptionally literate assessment of past research and a coherent statement of the research agenda for the future.”
— Eve Spangler in Contemporary Sociology

“There is a ... sense of excitement, as many of the contributors attempt to mark out new subjects for future research, or try out new strategies of investigation and invite the reader, or reviewer, to participate in their debates.”
— Michael Burrage in Modern Law Review

Also available in new paperback edition.

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About the author

Robert Dingwall is a consulting sociologist and part-time Professor at Nottingham Trent University. He has written widely about issues in health care and health policy, professions, law and society, science and technology studies, and research methods.

Philip Lewis is an Associate Research Fellow, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford, and an Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is co-editor with Richard Abel of the three-volume treatise Lawyers in Society, as well as Lawyers in Society: An Overview

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Additional Information

Publisher
Quid Pro Books
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Published on
Apr 9, 2014
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Pages
276
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ISBN
9781610272322
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Legal Profession
Medical / History
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Professors Fischl and Paul explain law school exams in ways no one
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Robert Dingwall's classic and original study of the training of health visitors (public health nurses) in the UK is now available in a convenient ebook edition, featuring linked chapter endnotes, all tables from the print edition, linked and detailed subject Index, and active Contents. The new digital edition adds a substantive, explanatory 2014 Preface by the author. 

This book has not been easily available in print for many years, but it has long been regarded as an important contribution to the study of professional socialization. It was one of the first studies to incorporate ideas from ethnomethodology into an ethnographic approach to studying health visitors, proposing that education should be thought of as the production of competence rather than the internalization of knowledge. The training programme is examined as an organization, to which both faculty and students contribute. This programme is also embedded in a wider set of social relations as the students -- predominantly women -- negotiate the place of their studies within the other demands on their lives in the context of the 1970s. 

In the process, the book reveals the efforts and possible success of the professionalisation process of this subset of medical service providers; its qualitative empiricism is a model for research that opens up the health visitor position (much like the "physician assistant" or PA in the US who travels to patients and implements the medical practice of a larger network) to a broader conceptualisation of its location in the medical profession.
Winner of the 2017 Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Outstanding Book Award, sponsored by the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Finalist for the C. Wright Mills Book Award, sponsored by the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Winner of the 2017 Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award, sponsored by the American Sociological Association's Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities.

Winner of the 2017 Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book, sponsored by the American Sociological Association's Sociology of Culture Section.

Honorable Mention in the 2017 Book Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Race, Class, and Gender.

NAACP Image Award Nominee for an Outstanding Literary Work from a debut author.

Winner of the 2017 Prose Award for Excellence in Social Sciences and the 2017 Prose Category Award for Law and Legal Studies, sponsored by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division, Association of American Publishers.

Silver Medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards (Current Events/Social Issues category).

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Delve deeper into Crook County with related media and instructor resources.

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