Contemporary articles citing Abbott A (1988) System Professions E

field, professions, professional, key, suggested, way, understanding, interpretation, institutional, propose

Tilly, C. 2004. "Reasons Why." Sociological Theory. 22:3 445-454. Link
Reasons-organized answers to the question ``Why does (did, should) X do Y?''-vary between formulas and cause-effect accounts in one dimension and between popular and specialized statements on the other. Conventions, explanatory stories, codified justifications, and technical accounts all qualify as reasons. Choices among types of reasons and contents within each type vary as a function of social relations between givers and receivers. As professional analysts of reasons for social processes as well as of reasons that social actors provide for their actions, sociologists face serious challenges to their credibility. They can reply to those challenges by (1) building records of effective intervention in social affairs; (2) educating audiences in the logic of social science; (3) incorporating their own explanations into widely available explanatory stories; or (4) confining their conversation to each other. Sociologists who want to influence public understanding must adopt some combination of Options 1 to 3.

DINGWALL, R & MD KING. 1995. "Spencer,herbert and the Professions - Occupational Ecology Reconsidered." Sociological Theory. 13:1 14-24. Link
Herbert Spencer was the most influential Anglophone sociologist of the nineteenth century bur his contributions are now largely forgotten. It is argued, however that the clarity of his understanding of the use of biological metaphors in sociology gives his work a power which is worth rediscovering. This proposition is pursued through a discussion of his treatment of the professions and their role in industrial societies. His approach is compared with the `'ecological'' perspective of sociologists in the Chicago tradition, notably Andrew Abbott. It is suggested that Spencer's work rests on an alternative interpretation of the ecological model; this opens the way to an understanding of the regulative structures of `'the system of the profession,'' which fills a major gap in Abbott's account.

SOMERS, MR. 1994. "The Narrative Constitution of Identity - a Relational and Network Approach." Theory and Society. 23:5 605-649. Link
This article argues for reconfiguring the study of identity formation through the concept of narrative. It is motivated by two recent but seemingly unrelated developments in social theory and society. One is the emergence of a wide-spread `'identity politics'' and a concomitant scholarly focus on the `'social construction of identity.'' The other is the reconfigured approach to the concept of narrative that researchers from many disciplines have been formulating in recent years. Both are important developments not to be overlooked by social scientists and social theorists; both, however, have problems and limitations as they now stand. I argue in this article that the limitations of each potentially can be overcome by bringing the two thematics together. The key concept I propose to achieve this reconfiguration is that of narrative identity.

Townsley, E. 2000. "A History of Intellectuals and the Demise of the New Class: Academics and the Us Government in the 1960s." Theory and Society. 29:6 739-784. Link

Fourcade-Gourinchas, M. 2001. "Politics, Institutional Structures, and the Rise of Economics: a Comparative Study." Theory and Society. 30:3 397-447. Link

Leuenberger, C. 2002. "The End of Socialism and the Reinvention of the Self: a Study of the East German Psychotherapeutic Community in Transition." Theory and Society. 31:2 255-280. Link

Sapiro, G. 2003. "Forms of Politicization in the French Literary Field." Theory and Society. 32:5-6 633-652. Link
Using Pierre Bourdieu's theory of ``fields,'' this article proposes a model of analysis of the forms of politicization in the literary field based on the French case. In France, during the first half of the twentieth century, the writer has embodied the figure of the ``Intellectual.'' The first claim is that the politicization of the French literary field resulted from three factors: the autonomy it gained in the nineteenth century, its lack of professional development, and the competition with the newly emerging professions. These factors, joined to the specific features of the literary activity, account for the writers' most typical mode of politicization: prophesying. This analysis adapts the Weberian concepts of ``charismatic power'' and of ``prophetism'' to the intellectual field, in the way suggested by Pierre Bourdieu's interpretation of Max Weber's theory of religion. The second claim is that the forms of politicization of writers depend on the position they occupy in the literary field: the way of being a writer conditions the way one engages in the political sphere. Four figures of committed writers are distinguished: the ``notabilities,'' the ``aesthetes,'' the ``avant-garde,'' and the ``writer-journalists.''

Leschziner, Vanina. 2006. "Epistemic Foundations of Cuisine: a Socio-cognitive Study of the Configuration of Cuisine in Historical Perspective." Theory and Society. 35:4 421-443. Link
This article is a study of the development of modern European cuisine through an examination of the socio-cognitive schemas which shape the way social actors think of and about food. While the historical phase that spans from the late middle ages to modernity has been widely studied (mainly by historians) I advance a new interpretation which focuses on the influence of cognitive patterns on the structure of cuisine - the ways of eating, cooking and serving food. I argue that the shift in the mode of classification helps explain the origin of the modern configuration of cuisine built on the polarity between the sweet and savory tastes. Using the case of cuisine, I propose to see the cultural schemas which define thinking in a socio-historical context as providing the conditions of possibility for transformations in a cultural sphere to occur. This article thus attempts to contribute to our understanding of the relation between cultural practices and cognitive schemas.

Mohr, John & Harrison White. 2008. "How to Model an Institution." Theory and Society. 37:5 485-512. Link
Institutions are linkage mechanisms that bridge across three kinds of social divides-they link micro systems of social interaction to meso (and macro) levels of organization, they connect the symbolic with the material, and the agentic with the structural. Two key analytic principles are identified for empirical research, relationality and duality. These are linked to new research strategies for the study of institutions that draw on network analytic techniques. Two hypotheses are suggested. (1) Institutional resilience is directly correlated to the overall degree of structural linkages that bridge across domains of level, meaning, and agency. (2) Institutional change is related to over-bridging, defined as the sustained juxtaposition of multiple styles within the same institutional site. Case examples are used to test these contentions. Institutional stability is examined in the case of Indian caste systems and American academic science. Institutional change is explored in the case of the rise of the early Christian church and in the origins of rock and roll music.

Vargha, Zsuzsanna. 2010. "Educate or Serve: the Paradox of ``professional Service'' and the Image of the West in Legitimacy Battles of Post-socialist Advertising." Theory and Society. 39:2 203-243. Link
This article investigates a puzzle in the rapidly evolving profession of advertising in post-socialist Hungary: young professionals who came of age during the shift to market-driven practices want to produce advertising that is uncompromised by clients and consumers, and to educate others about western modernity. It is their older colleagues-trained during customer-hostile socialism-who emphasize that good professionals serve their clients' needs. These unexpected generational positions show that 1) professions are more than groups expanding their jurisdiction. They are fields structured by two conflicting demands: autonomy of expertise and dependence on clients. We can explain the puzzle by noting that actors are positioning themselves on one or the other side based on their trajectory or movement in the field relative to other actors. Old and new groups vie for power in the transforming post-socialist professional field, responding to each other's claims and vulnerabilities, exploiting the professional field's contradictory demands on its actors. 2) The struggle is not between those who are oriented to the west and those that are not. Rather, the west is both the means and the stake of the struggle over historical continuity and professional power. Imposing a definition of the west is almost the same as imposing a definition of the profession on the field. In this historical case, ``field'' appears less as a stable structure based on actors' equipment with capital, than as dynamic relations moved forward by contestation of the field's relevant capital.

Owen-Smith, Jason. 2011. "The Institutionalization of Expertise in University Licensing." Theory and Society. 40:1 63-94. Link
This article draws on ethnographic data from a field leading university licensing office to document and explain a key step in the process of institutionalization, the abstraction of standardized rules and procedures from idiosyncratic efforts to collectively resolve pressing problems. I present and analyze cases where solutions to complicated quandaries become abstract bits of professional knowledge and demonstrate that in some circumstances institutionalized practices can contribute to the flexibility of expert reasoning and decision-making. In this setting, expertise is rationalized in response to institutional tensions between academic and business approaches to deal making and professional tensions between relational and legal approaches to negotiation. Abstraction and formalization contribute both to the convergence and stability of routines and to their improvisational use in professional work. Close attention to these processes in a strategic research setting sheds new light on an interesting tension in sociological theories of the professions while contributing to the development of a micro-level, social constructivist institutional theory.

Strand, Michael. 2011. "Where Do Classifications Come From? the Dsm-iii, the Transformation of American Psychiatry, and the Problem of Origins in the Sociology of Knowledge." Theory and Society. 40:3 273-313. Link
When something serves a function, it is easy to overlook its origins. The tendency is to proceed directly to function and retroactively construct a story about origin based on the function it fills. In this article, I address this problem of origins as it appears in the sociology of knowledge, using a case study of the publication of the 3rd edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) in 1980. The manual revolutionized American psychiatry and the treatment of mental illness, because it served the function of classification that had become critical to the field of mental health by this time. But this function must be bracketed in order to reveal the ``extra-functional'' origins of the DSM-III. Using field theory, I argue that the manual was necessary for reasons other than the function it filled as a classification. Specifically, its origin lies in a series of conflicts among psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and clinical psychologists within the field of mental health, which followed in the wake of the collapse of psychoanalysis as the dominant treatment type for mental illness. I reveal the generative formula behind the production of the DSM-III, capturing a variety of social processes that influenced the format of the manual and made it a useful classification, but which are not reducible to function. In this way, I reproduce its raison d'etre in a manner similar to how the DSM-III appeared for the people who produced it. This focus on generative formulas offers the sociology of knowledge a way to capture the epistemic importance of a range of different social processes. Most importantly, it avoids the functional fallacy of reducing origin to function, and ignoring the idea that innovations might appear necessary even without clear recognition of their functional consequences.

Collins, Randall & Mauro Guillen. 2012. "Mutual Halo Effects in Cultural Production: the Case of Modernist Architecture." Theory and Society. 41:6 527-556. Link
Previous research has suggested that in cultural production fields the concatenation of eminence explains success, defined as influence and innovation. We propose that individuals in fields as diverse as philosophy, literature, mathematics, painting, or architecture gain visibility by cumulating the eminence of others connected to them across and within generations. We draw on interaction ritual chain and social movement theories, and use evidence from the field of modernist architecture, to formulate a model of how networks of very strong ties generate motivations and emotional enthusiasm, change reputations, and form collective movements that over time transform the structure of cultural fields. Because major aesthetic innovations break sharply with older styles, they need very strong group solidarity over a long period of time to propagate a new standard of practice. We propose mutual halo effects, i.e., the reciprocal reinforcement of upstream and downstream prestige on a given individual node, as the key factor accounting for success in a cultural production field. We discuss the relevance of these results for building a model of influence and innovation in cultural production fields in which networks-reshaped by shifting technological, political, and economic conditions-trigger new styles.