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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

(p.253) Chapter 9 Professionalism Empirical and Moral1
Processual Sociology

Andrew Abbott

University of Chicago Press

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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