Professional Powers: A Study of the Institutionalization of Formal Knowledge

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, May 15, 1988 - Social Science - 241 pages
"This is an immensely useful book for sociologists working in a wide range of sub-fields. It confirms Freidson's status among the leading exponents of the old Chicago tradition. This book is catholic in its reading, sophisticated in its arguments and cautious in its judgements."—Robert Dingwall, Sociology

"As an attempt to provide a complex, wide-ranging account this book should be essential reading for specialist students, and it should act as a stimulus for the extension of both empirical research and theory."—Alex Faulkner, Sociological Review

"Freidson's book is a concise introduction to the professions, challenging specialists with its puncturing of theoretically induced misconceptions and offering general readers a clear but critical entrée to the theoretical literature concerning this central aspect of modern society."—Andrew Abbott, Science

"This is a stimulating and well-written book which opens up a new perspective on the professions as well as contributing to existing debates."—David Podmore, Times Higher Education Supplement

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I would like to read this book to it's last word, and try to figure what influenced the writer more, the institutional or the structuration theory.


Identifying Professions
The Category Profession
The Credential
The Position of Professionals in the Courts
The Question of Professional Decline
The Special Position of Professional
Professional Powers in Work Organizations
Professions in the Political Economy
The Institutional Transformation of Formal

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1988)

Eliot Freidson is a professor emeritus of sociology at New York University and visiting professor of sociology at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of several books, including Professional Powers: A Study of the Institutionalization of Formal Knowledge and Professionalism Reborn: Theory, Prophecy, and Policy.

Bibliographic information