Methods of research - Sociology of professions

Research methods

The methods used in the sociology of professions can be divided into theoretical and applied. In general, this science extensively uses a set of various methods existing in sociology. The method of research depends on the theoretical commitment and in any case has the right to exist.

It is important to be able to apply specific methods of sociological research to study the mechanisms of formation, social dynamics, causes and directions of changes in the social statuses of various professional groups.

Theoretical methods of sociology of the profession are positivistic, understanding sociology, structural-functional, neo-Marxist, phenomenological, etc. Each of these methods has its advantages in the study of professions. The positivist method allows us to consider occupations in the context of the social division of labor, to talk about the formation of a professional division of labor at a certain point in time, the role of professional groups in striving for moral unity (organic solidarity) of society.

The understanding sociology method helps in finding the distinctive features of the professions and creates on their basis an ideal type of profession. Using this method, the neo-Weberian approach defines the profession as a status professional group (collective), united by cultural characteristics, - a style of life, a common moral system and even religion. A classic Neo-Weberian definition of the profession is the definition developed by M. Larson: "We define the profession as a special historical form that establishes structural links between a relatively high level of formal education and relatively desired social positions and (or) remuneration within the framework of social organization of work." Further search for the characteristics of the ideal model of the profession on the basis of the creation of a professional complex developed within the framework of the structurally functional approach of T. Parsons.

Using this method, another theorist, J. Millerson, identifies more than two dozen characteristics of the profession. The neo-Marxist approach as the main elements of analysis puts the state and the class structure. All the representatives of this theory note that in the modern society there are processes of changing the fundamentals of stratification. In particular, due to the fact that the professional division of labor begins to play an increasing role. It should be noted that within this approach, evaluation of trends in social development is represented by two directly opposite views. Some classify representatives of traditional and new professions as proletariat, they talk about their deprofessionalization, others, on the contrary, defend the opinion that representatives of traditional professions should be classified as a bourgeoisie, to which monopoly power over resources and advantageous position in the stratification system passes.

The toolkit phenomenological method allows you to explore the everyday practices of professionals that are not available for analysis by other methods of sociology professions. Here, the subject of the research will be the content and structure of the consciousness of subjects, the identification of qualitative differences in their internal world with a view to generalizing the characteristics obtained. In this method, as P. Romanov and E. Yarskaya-Smirnova write, the sociology of professions converges with the anthropology of professions.

Applied research methods in the sociology of occupations are close to obschesotsiologicheskimi. Among them are methods of document analysis, mass survey, interview, observation, experiment.

Each profession has the actual semantic (or objectively existing) field and, accordingly, socially conditioned semantic field. The first is more stable in time concept and includes the objective characteristics of professional activity:

• the reasons for the appearance of this type of labor, the production profile of the profession and its specialties;

• evaluation of the economic importance of the profession;

• Labor Code;

• the organizational structure adopted in a particular institution;

• mode of operation;

• the amount of knowledge, skills and skills necessary for successful professional work, especially those that determine professional skills;

• terms of preparation and prospects of advancement

• Wage amount;

• Sanitary and hygienic characteristics of working conditions;

• list of requirements for the health of the employee, and medical contraindications to the profession;

• Requirements for the psychological characteristics of a person, and the allocation of professionally important qualities.

So, for example, the emergence of the pedagogical profession has objective grounds: a society could not exist and develop if the younger generation, coming to replace the elder, had to start all over again without the creative development and use of the experience that it received as a legacy . This profession implies an established mode of work, the necessary amount of knowledge or the level of qualification of a person who claims to be a teacher.

Socially conditioned semantic field of the profession is an intersubjective reality created by individuals when interacting with each other in the context of work activity. At this zero there are built in such semantic structures, evidencing various aspects of professional activity, such as professional language (slang), unofficial rules, norms, symbols, rituals, myths, control, i.e. then a specifically role-based knowledge, the bearers of which are professionals. These semantic structures are simultaneously social mechanisms that contribute to the social construction of the profession, i.e. the acquisition and consolidation of knowledge about the social construct of a particular profession. For example, language demonstrates a professional knowledge stock of so-called activity recipes and a system of definitions as a set of meanings characteristic of his group. Ritual actions , related to initiation into the profession, play an important role in the secondary socialization of the beginner.

Thus, the professional environment is one of the basic for modern man, and its construction is connected with the abilities, interests and processes of self-determination and choice of professional activity. The factors of choosing a profession are external and internal in relation to the choosing subject. External factors are associated with the impact on a person of the social environment (social environment and, above all, the parent family). In this case, it is said that this person represents a family dynasty or follows the traditions of the family, his choice is the result of a certain style of upbringing, etc. Further, the impact of the media, traditions, stereotypes, behavior patterns, etc., is of no small importance. Striking examples of social success in the person of well-known, respected people can not but affect the image of the profession, especially if such people belong to the reference group (ie, the group whose opinion the person is oriented to, to whom he is inclined to follow or imitate). The choice of subject is also influenced by personal connections - friends, acquaintances, teachers, neighbors, etc. Internal factors of the choice of profession are correlated with personal individual characteristics of a person. In particular, abilities, character, motives, interests, temperament, life values ​​and plans for the future.

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