Theme. Professions are facing multiple challenges. The neoliberal rhetoric in Western societies modified the equilibria between agents of regulation, undermining social closure mechanisms, which are typical of classic professions, and discouraging the institutionalization of new ones. Both old and new professions are thus more exposed to market regulation and a process of rationalization, associated with the promotion of managerial/organizational cultures. Marketization and managerialism imposed new objectives. Organizations became the places of change, challenging professionalism as dominant logic, offering new sources of identity and power to professionals. Public sector services also developed forms of “hybrid” or “new” professionalism. Recently, technological change affected both professionals and customers. Professionals found in the ICTs new modes of expression to respond effectively to the growing demand for professional services. Digitalization, then, brought along substantial changes in the ways expert knowledge is produced and transmitted, and implied a democratization of knowledge, which modified the power balances between professionals and clients/users. In the background, globalization and the rising number of professionals in developing countries led to a new division of labor between Global North and South. The combined effects of these processes are producing radical changes in the relationship between professions and society. Such changes affect practitioners’ careers, roles, and tasks, as well as their earnings and statuses. Trust relationships are also called into question.
Aim. The 2019 Interim Meeting aims to address these critical issues from a range of theoretical and analytical perspectives, with the ultimate goal of furthering the debate on professions and professional groups.
Local organizer. Hosted by the University of Florence, the conference is organized by Andrea Bellini, Assistant Professor of General Sociology at the Department of Political and Social Sciences (DSPS).
Venue. The conference will be held at the Social Sciences Campus, in the city district of Novoli.