The Post-professional Transition

  • Edgar A BurnsEmail author


The post-professional transition stretching from the 1970s to today recognises functionalist theories of professions as intellectually bankrupt. Sociologists and others introduced alternative concepts critiquing beliefs that the functions of profession determine how professions work, should be respected or remunerated. Scholars, however, view post-professionalism in very different ways and changes happening to professions are described here under six headings that break intellectually from functional theory despite functionalism’s persistence: as a stage in occupational development, embodying new professional identities, imagining a new kind of society, forming a new middle class, as occupational deprofessionalisation, or present-day work dilemmas. Initial reactions labelled post-professionalism the ‘power approach’ since it named professional power and influence, but the post-professional transition is much richer, covering multiple, complex, discursive and structural changes impacting professional work.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Waikato UniversityNapierNew Zealand

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