Professions as a social institution - Sociology of professions

Professions as a social institution

Formation of the profession as a social institution in the XVIII-XIX centuries. first of all, the interrelationship of the profession and education. Formal education includes theoretical and practical training, as well as the assimilation of values, the way of life of a certain professional group.

The scientist's opinion

It (the profession) mechanically, in addition to the will and desire of the individual, rewrites it, creates it in its own way and likeness, determines its interests, beliefs, tastes, aspirations and desires - the elephant, its whole nature. Ego means that individuals who have similar professions, for all their differences, will have a number of common interests and similarities caused by the similarity of the profession. I. back, similar in many respects individuals will inevitably diverge in many ways if their professions are different.

In the XIX century. Professions began to be classified as occupations that presupposed long-term training, as a result of which a permit was issued to carry out professional activities. This was done with the goal of creating a monopoly on professional activity, regulating the labor market and excluding those who did not meet the above requirements.

Theoretical approaches to the definition of a social institution in the sociological literature are very diverse in view of the multifaceted nature of this concept. In general, its internal structure is understood as follows:

1) the main in the social institution are the system of statuses and roles, representing a stable model of behavior and interaction, (T. Parsons, Ch. Mills, T. Veblen);

2) the key element is the functions to meet the needs of people (G. Spencer, R. Merton);

3) the concept of a social institution denotes a different kind of ordered social relations (through norms, demands, coercion) or stable social practices, patterns and patterns of behavior (M. Weber, P. Sorokin, E. Giddens, P. Sztompka and others );

4) social institution as a stable product of the mutual exchange of activities between society and man (J. Homan).

A comprehensive approach to this notion emphasizes that the social institution has an external shell (special organizations and institutions that perform certain functions) and internal content (a set of certain social norms, rules, models, standards that should guide people included in the activities or other organization, and mechanisms for monitoring their compliance). Thus, the most important signs of a social institution will be;

• the existence of a social need for which joint efforts are needed, the formation of common goals aimed at meeting this need;

• the formation of a system of statuses and roles covering all members of the institution, through a clear distribution of functions, nature and responsibilities between participants in institutionalized interaction, which ensures a high degree of predictability of the behavior of the individual within the social institution;

• the emergence of social norms and rules in the course of social interaction;

• Creation of a clear regulation mechanism through the establishment of a system of sanctions to maintain norms and rules, the development of codes of conduct (oral or written);

• establishment of institutions within which the institute will operate, manage and monitor it;

• acceptance, practical application by participants of the institutionalized interaction of the corresponding social statuses and roles of norms, rules, procedures, i.e. their internalization.

Thus, the social institution is an organized practical interaction of people and is formed on the basis of social ties, interactions and relationships of certain subjects (individuals, groups, communities), while it is of a supra-individual character and is not reduced to the sum of subjects and their interactions. A social institution is a social system that satisfies the fundamental needs of society, has legitimate power and moral authority, embraces a large number of phenomena expressed through statuses and roles, social norms and sanctions, social organizations, which in turn have staff, management staff , numerous mechanisms of social control, procedural practices, etc. The fulfillment of a certain range of functions and responsibilities within the institution leads to the division of labor and the professionalization of activities carried out by specially trained personnel.

Modern approaches to the process of professionalization are based on the understanding of the multidimensionality of this process, which has a social and personal level. At the social level, professionalization is a social process characterized by changes in the professional life of society. In the course of development, new professional types of labor arise, in the process of self-organization, gradually gaining the status of a profession. The personal level of professionalization reflects the formation and development of the professionalism of the individual, the emergence of a person as a professional.

From the standpoint of the institutional approach, professionalization at the social level is a process of institutional formation of the profession and the formation of its characteristics. In any dedicated specialized activity for the acquisition of the status of a profession, there is a process of institutionalization, which, in the opinion of the United States researcher GB Korableva, is associated with the following stages:

1) the emergence of social needs in the specialization of activities to better meet social needs;

2) the formation of special requirements, norms and standards that characterize this type of activity;

3) determining the nature of the special abilities, knowledge and skills of individuals necessary to perform this type of activity;

4) the emergence of methods and ways to identify such abilities and training for special professional knowledge, techniques and skills;

5) the formation of incentives and motives for engaging precisely this kind of activity at the level of both the individual and society as a whole, which is related to the prestige of the profession, reflected in the ability of this lesson to be the main source of income;

6) highlighting certain professional interests, values, norms, styles and patterns of behavior, professional roles that promote the rallying of people on the basis of belonging to a given profession and a specific professional community;

7) the emergence of special professional organizations to protect these interests (professional associations, unions, etc.).

This process, originally spontaneous and unorganized, is completed by the formation and recognition by the public of professional communities ( associations ), whose characteristics include not only a set of well-known attributes (unity nature and content of labor, the availability of special knowledge, general techniques and methods of professional activity, etc.), but also the commonality of professional interests, value orientations, patterns of behavior and lifestyle in general. Formation and subsequent constant reproduction of all listed and other characteristics and characteristics is provided by the institute of the profession.

In addition to the already listed characteristics, you can add:

• a set of specific labor functions;

• the creation of organizations engaged in professional activities;

• Development of a system for training professional staff;

• the emergence of methods and methods for assessing the qualifications of professionals engaged in professional activities;

• Developed code of professional ethics;

• The social status of the profession.

The signs of the profession in themselves do not yet ensure its functioning as an institution. For this, it is necessary that the norms, rules and standards of professional activity become the property of the internal world of the specialist's personality, be internalized by him. The process of internalization of professional norms, fixing them in the mind of a person and turning into internal worldviews occurs in the course of professional development, the highest level of which is the formation of professionalism. The personal level of professionalization, from the point of view of the institutional approach, reflects the formation of professionalism as the highest degree of mastering the profession and the formation of the subject of professional activity as a professional. Professionalism in this case is considered as a generalized model model (image) of a professional and a stable normative scheme that reflects the requirements of the profession as an institution for a person - a representative of this profession.

As the basic typical characteristics that a professional of any field of activity should possess and which can be represented as criteria of professionalism, psychological, epistemological (cognitive, intellectual), practical (productive), axiological (value), emotional-volitional components are distinguished. The content and ratio of these components is determined by the specific nature of the profession.

The social and personal levels of professionalization are interdependent, since, on the one hand, the development of professionalism is impossible without the creation of objective conditions, the institutional foundations of the profession, and on the other - without the high level of professionalism of subjects of professional activity, their active professional position, it is impossible to improve the institution of social work and elimination of its dysfunctions.

In any case, professions are a social mechanism of differentiation and specialization of labor activity at the species and intraspecific level, functioning as a means of developing the content of labor.

Many social scientists have analyzed the formation of the social institute of professions. The most famous studies were conducted within the framework of the sociohistorical approach of A. Carr-Sandersem, T. Cullough, E. Hughes, H. Vilensky and others. The attention of scientists was focused on considering the division of occupations into professional and non-professional, the stages of the formation of professional activities, the development of the stages of the formation and development of professional associations (the establishment of a professional association, the specification of the name of the lesson, the development of an ethical code, public recognition, the rapid development of educational institutions), and stages of attaining professional status. In particular, H. Vilensky based on empirical studies proposed a model of historical analysis of the formation of professional activity, based on five consecutive stages of the development of characteristics (characteristics):

• Full-time work

• the emergence of professional educational institutions;

• formation of professional associations;

• The law on professional practice;

• Ethical code and protection of clients' rights.

Not all scientists have tried to create a universal model for the evolution of professions. Thus, I. Fleishman, considering the formation of professions in Germany, notes that they have always achieved high status thanks to the support and regulation by the state of five areas - training the profession, obtaining a license for the right to carry out professional activities, the legislative field, the office system and the rules of conduct.

In the heyday of studies of professional activity in the 50-60-ies. XX century. professions were considered within the attributive approach through the identification of characteristic features, later in the 1970s and 1980s. professional activity acquires new features, there are large professional organizations and corporations, new ways of structuring professional work. Studies by such authors as K. Leith, M. Fennell, J. Falconbridge and D. Muzio, showed that, provided professional independence is maintained at work, professionals are more satisfied with the work process and the results they have obtained. In the XXI century. professional market of labor, employment and services is experiencing the erasure of all boundaries and acquires the features of transnationality. It is influenced by demographic changes and expanding opportunities for higher education. The process of the emergence of new professions that do not possess the classic features of independence, prestige, etc., is accelerating. All this, of course, leaves an imprint on what we understand by profession in the modern world. If we are talking about professions (any) as a social institution of the 20th century, then we must identify the requirements that were formed more than a century ago.

The institutional aspect of the analysis of the profession is promising in yet another plan. Modern society changes the nature of the social division of labor: the habitual division into spheres of material and spiritual production to study the differences between professional groups loses its former meaning. And in the first and second spheres, ensuring the reproduction of society as a whole, the main condition and development factor will be intellectual capital. Professional norms and standards, codes and patterns of behavior, such as humanism, independence, creative activity, independence, etc., acquire a universal character.

Therefore, the professional division of labor is considered in the mainstream of a more general category - the social division of labor. The institutionalization of professions has a long history of formation, not without its difficulties. Consideration of the profession as a social institution, a special type of social community, does not contradict its analysis either from the standpoint of a specialized type of activity or from any other methodological positions. As a social institution, the profession has the qualities of a social mechanism for organizing, regulating and controlling the process of forming new types of professional activity at the level of social interactions that determines the prestige (prestige) of various professions, their impact on the social status of the individual and the group, and also the stratification impact on the social structure of society and ensuring the integrity and stability of modern society.

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