Social status and profession - Sociology of professions

Social status and profession

Social status is the main element of the social structure. In describing the social status of people, modern sociologists use the standard set of basic features: profession, education, income, property, power, lifestyle. Depending on the purpose of the study of signs can be identified and more. What is important is that one of the main features of social stratification - professional differentiation - is important not only in itself, but also in the strength of its influence on other signs. Professional differentiation can be an independent basis for analysis, and then it acts as a professional stratification. It has long been noted that representatives of one professional group, although they are disunited in physical space (for example, on the scale of a country or a region) nevertheless they pass an identical professional socialization and are inclined to reproduce similar social behavior, social positions, are influenced by their environment. Professional affiliation in a modern, free society (open type) has a strong influence on intergenerational mobility in its positive form. The freer the society, the less important become the prescribed statuses and the more important - achieved, including professional ones. As a rule, professional status is considered the main thing in determining the overall social status of a person. The main status determines the way of life, the circle of acquaintances, the manner of behavior.

There are nine ideal types of stratification systems: physicogenetic, slave, caste, class, ethical, class, cultural, symbolic and social-professional. A feature of the distinguished types is that they can manifest themselves simultaneously in different proportions in a society of a single historical period. Professional stratification shows that professions have different statuses. At the same time they speak of intra-professional and inter-professional stratification (P. Sorokin). What is the basis of professional stratification? First of all, it should be noted that if we are talking about stratification, then we have in mind the hierarchically ordered position of professional groups. On the basis of what such hierarchy is built? After all, if we paraphrase S. Marshak's famous poem, "All professions are needed, all professions are important!", It turns out that the most important reason is the social importance of the profession .

All this, of course, is true, but if we look at society as a coherent, complex phenomenon, then we can not speak about the greater or lesser importance of the profession of a janitor and the head of the company. If the janitor does not clean snow on the street and cleans the yard of snow or does not come to work at all (which also happens), and our head of the company accidentally slips and breaks his leg, he will not be able to think of any leadership. Further on the level of activity, the work of many professionals is a complex logical chain of relations between previous and subsequent links. At the social level, within the existing division of labor, we all depend on each other. Success and prosperity of society in this sense will no longer be a simple sum of the results of the activities of individual professional units (whether people or groups), but will be a superior result of simple addition, which is called a synergistic effect.

The category of the public significance of the profession, in our opinion, will reflect the timeless and non-spatial nature of this phenomenon, to be an indicator of the cumulative result of the activity of all professional groups. Public value will be equal and equally important for all professions. Another category - of social significance - is rooted in the context of the existence of a particular society (or societies) and can be expressed in the existence of professional stratification, when the groups are divided according to the skill level, , having access to the functions of organization and control, content and working conditions, etc. Socio-professional status requires a person with it, socially approved behavior, the performance of certain rights and duties, adequate role behavior, finally identification, i.e. psychological identification of oneself with one's status. Hierarchy and prestige of professional statuses depend on the prevailing notions about the significance of certain functions for the development of society, the reproduction of its main structures and the value system, the scale of preferences considered in this culture with Weighing social functions.

Foreign Experience

In the UK, a study of the usefulness of professions for society. Six professions, radically different in terms of wages and social status, were assessed in terms of the benefits to society. To do this, we used the methods of assessing the social return on investment, to calculate the social, environmental and economic value of what is produced or destroyed by a particular profession. For the analysis, those professions were selected from the public and private sectors, which are most revealing for the research tasks: three professions with the lowest salary - a cleaner in the hospital, a processing plant worker and a nurse: the other three are the maximum paying banker, the advertising agent and tax accountant. Prestigious professions in their usefulness have lost much to their opponents. In particular, the study showed that in fact, bankers are rewarded for contributing to the collapse of the global financial system. Receiving an annual salary of 500 thousand to 10 million pounds sterling, the leading London financiers for every pound of the society's benefits are inflicted on seven pounds of public damage. Even more harmful were accountants on taxation, contributing to the failure of public funds funds. The loss of society from their activities is 47 pounds per pound of their own profit. Advertisers make a negative contribution, encouraging harmful and meaningless over-consumption of the British. Caring for children, workers release time to parents who can continue to work, and also provide children with early education and social communication skills outside the home. For every pound they receive, educators create from seven to nine and a half pounds of good for society. The greatest benefit to society brings waste recyclers - 12 pounds return on one earned. This study exposed the main myth that the amount of remuneration is related to the volume of utility of labor, and a number of associated widespread misconceptions.

Thus, prestige scales, trust ratings, pyramids, classifications and even professions formulas are an expression of social hierarchies built on subjective indicators, ie. on the opinions of the public, which in turn are based on the perception of the public image of professions. Prestige is a hierarchy of statuses, shared by society and enshrined in culture, public opinion. The social prestige of status plays a huge role in the distribution of social desires, plans, energy (especially young people). This zone creates a special social tension, the most active, prepared, ambitious members of society are concentrated.

Education in the modern world plays an integrative role in the formation of social communities. The development of any country in the modern world is directly related to the level of development of quality education. It is thanks to education that knowledge, information, and therefore, opportunities are exchanged between social strata, collectives, states, people. The approval and maintenance of hierarchical orders in this system is carried out using certificates (diplomas, grades, licenses, patents) that record the level of qualifications and the ability to perform certain activities. The effectiveness of qualification certificates is supported by the strength of the state or some other powerful corporation (professional workshop).

Thus, in the context of the social importance of professions, we can assert that professions by their nature are not only differentiated, but also hierarchical in relation to each other. At the same time, the hierarchy of the profession is determined not only by the requirements of the industrial-technological division of labor (intra-professional stratification), but also by the specificity of a specific society, traditions and stereotypes of public consciousness. The concept of social status can be applied to the profession. In this case, the concept of social status is a generalized indicator of the comparative position of the profession among other professions. The social status of the profession characterizes the official and unofficial recognition of its necessity and popularity. Such a hierarchical order can not be legally fixed, but the profession has its own quite certain status, which is supported by social mechanisms (prestige, pay, social guarantees, mode of operation, etc.). Choosing the type of professional activity determines largely the social status of the individual. Mark two forms of the status of the profession - economic and prestigious.

The economic component of the social status of the profession, or economic status, depends on the level of material remuneration anticipated in choosing a profession, professional self-determination.

The prestigious component of the social status of the profession, or prestigious status, the prestige of the profession, is determined by the content of this type of work, its creative functions, character, degree of popularity of the profession, the possibility of self-realization (success, career). In the socio-psychological sense, a certain role in affirming the prestige of the profession is played by fashion for new professions.

The social, economic and organizational-production situation (banker, politician, teacher, technical director) is recorded in the professional-official social status. The perception of the accepted managerial decisions is connected with it. Identical in form and content decisions can be perceived differently depending on the authority and social status of the subject of the decision.

Another reason that turns the differentiation of the profession into a stratification factor is in the inequality of people with their abilities and opportunities. Different types of professional activity require different , and sometimes special, abilities, which individuals do not have to the same extent. In addition, any, even the most simple, professional activity is based on a certain level of professional skill and qualification, which is associated with more or less lengthy training. Therefore, the approach to the profession as one of the main stratification factors, regulating the relations of inequality in society and determining the social status of the individual and social groups.

Historical excursion

In the 1990's. in the number of leading status in our country began to put forward the wealth of the man, the ownership of property and financial resources, the opportunity to "beautifully live." In this situation, there is no qualification, no skill, no creative potential, and possession of real estate and a bank account has become the goal of a significant part of the youth, which also began to consider obtaining a specialty as an element or step in achieving significant material prosperity. In this regard, it should be noted the value of the real starting position of the individual, which affects his assessment of society, gives a certain point of view on the world, which largely determines the future behavior. Natives of families with different social statuses have unequal conditions of socialization, unequal opportunities for obtaining education.

From the perspective of the research perspective, the professional stratification of modern society is gaining more and more importance. Class differentiation ceased to be significant for researchers, since long ago does not reflect complex dynamic social processes and the heterogeneity of the social structure of society. The processes of the division of labor that structure the new types of specialized activities that arise and place them in a particular hierarchy within this structure are of decisive importance.

Highly qualified specialists: intellectuals or intellectuals?

A highly qualified specialist should be considered an expert in the intellectual field of knowledge, who has a high level of education, work experience, skills and achievements in a specific field of activity. Under the intellectual industry is meant a branch of knowledge that requires great science, technology and human resources.

Intellect - understanding, understanding, comprehension) is the general thinking ability of a person, the ability to create and understand meanings, to find the optimal solution for complex problems (life, professional, etc.). The concept of intelligence more simply mere abilities. In it are integrated into a single whole as rational elements (knowledge, skills, worldview), and irrational (emotional experiences, intuitive insights, strong-willed motivations). Thus, the mind is only one aspect of the intellect.

Highly qualified specialist is only a small part of the concept of "intellectual", combining specialists who, as a rule, have a set of formal professional qualifications. While the intellectual, in essence being a highly qualified specialist, has the opportunity to go beyond the professional environment. Many researchers attribute this sign to the scientific affinity of intellectuals and intellectuals.

First of all, this position is typical of European and American scientific schools. In the Great Intelligence Dictionary, the intelligentsia refers to the social stratum of intellectuals "with self-imposed responsibility for leading the future well-being and development of the nation". In addition, the peculiarities of the multiculturalism of the intelligentsia as a set of educated but not proprietary personalities with a certain consciousness of a particular role either in the national society or in the cultural sphere that transcends state boundaries are emphasized. Paying attention to the complexity and multidimensionality of the concept, the authors note that the intelligentsia and intellectuals are not synonymous, since not all intellectuals can belong to intellectuals, according to these definitions.

Scientists' opinions

Carl Manheim about the intelligentsia. The well-known philosopher and sociologist K. Mannheim classifies the intelligentsia as an intermediate stratum, calling it the "education between classes, not over them." He regards the main property of the intelligentsia as its "characteristic attitude to culture". However, this relationship can be different. In this regard, K. Manheim identifies four types of intelligentsia:

• The first type manifests itself in the difference between physical and mental labor;

• The second type of intelligentsia is based on the close connection of intellectual labor with social status: "the former contrast between mental and physical labor gives way to a new difference between free professions and paid professional occupations." Under free professions K. Manheim means art, science and religion as such, without taking into account the receipt of possible rewards: "freedom from monetary considerations is an important feature of the prestige with which these studies were associated";

• The third type of intelligentsia is related to education: "... the prestige of intellectual labor as an occupation worthy of a gentleman is still preserved in the third kind difference between educated and uneducated people";

• The fourth type of intelligentsia is associated with the cultural criterion of intelligence.

To. Mannheim emphasizes that a well-rounded view of culture is the possession of practical knowledge. Building the image of an intellectual, the German scientist completely identifies him with an intellectual, noting as characteristic signs of mental work, education, belonging to the world of art, science, religion, the opportunity to engage in "free labor" and, finally, the possession of some practical knowledge - culture.

A. Gramsci about the intelligentsia. The Italian philosopher A. Gramsci pays great attention to the fundamental difference between the various intellectual activities of the intelligentsia and the activities of other social groups. In his opinion, the most common mistake is. that this criterion is sought in the varieties of intellectual activity themselves, and not in the system of those social relations in which this heterogeneous activity is embodied. That is why, A. Gramsci believes, it can be concluded that all people are intelligent, but not all of them perform the function of intellectuals in society. In addition, he attributes to the intelligentsia the ability to influence the masses, ensuring their consent (disagreement with a variety of sorts of decisions).

The twentieth century: the continuity of the intelligentsia's comprehension in the works of domestic scientists. A somewhat different understanding of the intelligentsia has developed in the domestic science, for which a clear distinction of the intelligentsia and intellectuality was characteristic.

At the beginning of the 20th century, emphasizing the vagueness of the term "intelligentsia", RV Ivanov-Razumnik (1878-1946) wrote that "intelligentsia, generally speaking, is ready to understand the sum of persons characterized by a certain level of knowledge: identify any "educated" a person with a representative of the intelligentsia, forgetting that no diplomas will in themselves make an "educated" person "intelligent." Even more often we are ready to understand by the intelligentsia the entire "civilized" or whole "cultural" part of society, while culturality, like education, is only an external formal sign that does not define the inner content. " In his opinion, the intelligentsia is determined by a number of formal signs: "... the intelligentsia is ethically - antimeshchanskaya, sociologically - extra-class, non-class, succession group, characterized by the creativity of new forms and ideals and their active implementation in the direction of the physical and mental, public and personal liberty of the person. "

The position of the United States sociologist, historian, public figure Pavel Nikolaevich Milyukov (1859-1943) is interesting: "The intelligentsia is a close inner circle: it owns initiative and creativity. A large circle of an "educated layer" is the medium of direct influence of the intelligentsia. With the expansion of the circle of influence, both the size and the character of the intellectual effect change. "

During the Soviet era, a socio-economic interpretation was adopted that defines the intelligentsia as a social stratum of people professionally engaged in intellectual, mostly complex, creative work, the development and dissemination of culture: scientists, engineers, teachers, writers, artists, doctors, employees, etc. The main difference definition of the Soviet intelligentsia from prerevolutionary interpretations is that it is conceived as a set of professionals performing certain labor functions: if to about something appointed to the post of doctors, engineers, teachers, etc., that person automatically became an intellectual, and vice versa.

Modern United States scientists pay attention to the fact that the intelligentsia, unlike other groups of society, always has an inimitable way of thinking, it is characterized by the independence of psychic life, it is characterized by a self-propelled creative force in spite of external circumstances. Distinctions are made between two concepts. The concept of intelligent has broadened social functions: the treatment of the word intelligent comes from a combination of the concepts mind & quot ;, mind and agent & quot ;, i.e. the missionary function of the smart agent - bring something into society or investigate, reconnoiter, revise (LL Shirinyants, E. V. Kempinsky and others).

RN Abramov discusses them in absentia, saying that intellectuals are those who accumulated the necessary symbolic capital, being in the professional field (won recognition of colleagues, reputation and received scientific degrees, titles, etc.). ), and converted this capital in the public sphere. Intellectuals here, first of all, university scientists, researchers - to be an intellectual and to be an academic person means to be in a common space of identity.

Our scientific approaches to the study of the intelligentsia allow us to formulate and enumerate the characteristic features peculiar to this phenomenon. They can be divided into two groups - formal and cultural. To formal are:

• Education;

• Engaging in mental work

• the possession of professional skills, skills.

In turn, cultural features can be called the following:

• the desire to gain new knowledge;

• development, preservation and distribution of value orientations;

• self-development.

All the scientific views identified by us determine not only formal attributes of education, special skills and skills of the intelligentsia, but also the specific spiritual component of this population group, emphasizing its importance in the creation and dissemination of values ​​and ideals. The intelligentsia can be defined as a specific social group, professionally carrying out activities to produce spiritual values. This activity has a universal character, representing the generally valid interests of society. Then the intellectual is at least an intellectual, and an intellectual is not necessarily an intellectual. Elite society can be divided into intellectual and spiritual. Intellectuality is only a prerequisite or an opportunity to acquire a new quality - a transformation into the spiritual elite of society.

Continuing the analysis, let's try to compare the concepts of a professional and an intellectual. This issue was paid attention to the famous economist J. Schumpeter. Intellectuals for him are educated pariahs who have received university training, but who do not have the opportunity or the desire to join the system of capitalist production. At the same time, they tend to use their academic training for hostile statements about the established order, since "from criticism of the text to criticism of society, the path is shorter than it may seem." At the same time, Schumpeter focuses on the fact that having a university diploma as a pledge of high education and working in its direction, one can be a professional, but not an intellectual. Thus, a professional, according to J. Schumpeter, is primarily a practitioner, and an intellectual is comparable to an "academic man" T. Parsons, who is distinguished by the attitude toward criticism, the lack of direct involvement in the practical field of activity and the lack of responsibility in this sense for its results. The United States sociologist R. Abramov writes: "In fact, J. Schumpeter draws a symbolic line between the positions of professionals and intellectuals: the former refer their statements to the sphere of application of their expert knowledge, while the latter use their professional status and education as a resource for public expression of opinions on social issues , economic and political nature ". Under professional status, this is precisely what belongs to the academic (university) community.

Thus, position in society predetermines the main status, which is based, as a rule, on professional affiliation. The profession serves the most used, cumulative, integrative indicator of the status position - the type of work determines such status resources of a person as authority, prestige, power. It should be noted that the hierarchy of statuses can change with the course of historical development. Thus, the presented scientific approaches allow us to speak about the following division of views: the majority of foreign researchers proceed from the homogeneity and comparability of intellectuality and intelligence, while domestic scientists differentiate these concepts, attention to their different nature. Complementing the approaches of domestic authors, it must be noted once again that to include the intellectual in the spiritual elite of society, one can not turn into an intellectual; a person with developed spiritual values.

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