MORRELL, K., 2004. Analysing Professional Work in the Public Sector: The Case of NHS Nurses. Occasional Paper 2004:1, Loughborough: Business School, Loughborough University
Analysis of the terms profession and professional is problematic, and this limits our understanding of professionalisation as a process. On the one hand, there seem to be no necessary or sufficient criteria to define a professional, yet there are undeniable status markers between existing professions. This paper suggests that confusion arises because of the legacy of naïve functionalism. Naïve functionalism describes a focus on work content at the expense of understanding interactions between professionals and organizations, and interactions between professions and society. Acknowledging the role of these interactions allows social scientists to continue to use these terms in an analytic sense. This is illustrated in relation to the professionalisation of nurses.
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