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.
The European professions of the nineteenth century were gentlemen's clubs. Despite differences of income and status, professionals shared a patrimony of higher education which distinguished them from society at large. Also, their social origins were similar. They were the representatives par excellence of the cultured bourgeoisie, but their origins sometimes extended upwards to the nobility and downwards to the petty bourgeoisie. They were united by an affiliation of gender and body which arose from a common education, membership of professional associations, and a shared scientific culture and ethical vision of the profession. The model to which they referred was that of the gentleman, whose identity was strengthened in the exercise of a profession and spoke an exclusively masculine language ...