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Processual Sociology$
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Andrew Abbott

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226336596

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226336763.001.0001

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Professionalism Empirical and Moral1

Professionalism Empirical and Moral1

Chapter:
(p.253) Chapter 9 Professionalism Empirical and Moral1
Source:
Processual Sociology
Author(s):

Andrew Abbott

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226336763.003.0009

The chapter first demonstrates that sociological students of professions typically disclaim any normative intentions, but in fact live professionalism on a daily basis – a contradiction I call knowledge alienation. It then considers the Weberian concept of value-free social science, finding Weber’s analysis problematic Durkheimian analysis of morals, finding that Durkheim’s claim to have resolved the normative/empirical divide is specious. Parsons’s functionalist analysis of professions is shown to function by sleight of hand, defining the empirical as normative, tout court. The chapter concludes with a pragmatist-inspired analysis of the fact-value dichotomy, continuing to use the concept of professionalism as an example and developing a processual definition of processual as a mode of becoming.

Keywords:   John Dewey, Emile Durkheim, functionalism, knowledge alienation, Talcott Parsons, pragmatism, professionalism, Max Weber

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