This chapter views professions as communities of practice that develop and apply specialized knowledge and skills that have been acquired through a lengthy and structured process of formal education and training. As these communities mature, they create associations, formulate codes of ethics, and seek to regulate the admission and work of occupational practitioners. The demand for professionals grows with the shift from an industrial to a postindustrial economy, as the standard of living rises and technological complexity increases. Their contribution to economic, social, and cultural life is well known. Businesses depend increasingly on a variety of professional services—accounting, advertising, analyses, designs, information technology, and legal expertise—to stay competitive. Society depends on educators for the creation and transmission of knowledge, and on culture, communication, and media specialists for information and entertainment. People depend on health care professionals, lawyers, and social workers to solve personal problems.
Keywords: specialized knowledge; industrial economy; professional services; health care professionals; barristers
Chapter. 16548 words.
Subjects: Society and Culture
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