• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book tells the story of the principal European intellectual professions from the demise of the ancient régime to the rise of the European Union. A historical study which applies sociological concepts it creates a European-scale picture of the professions spanning over two centuries of change. Uniting the legal, medical, engineering and accounting professions it provides a comparative historical and sociological exploration of 'Professional Europe'. The book: • comprehensively investigates the roots and origins of the four professions• reconstructs the processes and changes which have characterised them • charts their response to external agents such as the state, diverse social movements, economic crises and wars. Inspired by Bourdieu it rejects theories of professionalization drawing instead upon the sociology of crisis and theories on the decline of the professions to introduce the intellectual professions' relationship with the fascist and authoritarian regimes. Detailed, well defined and critical in its application Professional Men, Professional Women also examines the role of women within the professions and includes a devoted chapter conducting a twofold comparison between countries and professions.

Legal Professions
Legal professions
Legal Fields and Elites

According to Pierre Bourdieu's well-known definition (Bourdieu and Wacquant, 1992: 105–6), the legal field is a national space whose characteristics are determined by the hierarchies and conflicts that arise among the actors operating within it, and from the relationships between it and society at large. As producers, interpreters, administrators and mediators of the law, European legal practitioners contributed to the nineteenth-century formation of the national states by guaranteeing legality and governability in their countries (Trubek et al., 1994: 411). The eloquence of lawyers helped construct the discourse on the nation (Beneduce, 1996). And trials, no longer conducted behind closed doors, became arenas in which public opinion was shaped. In their turn, the national states transformed the legal fields during ...

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