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Professional development for the Welfare State – a shared model or diverse paths?

Professional development for the Welfare State – a shared model or diverse paths?

Lethbridge, Jane ORCID: 0000-0002-0094-9967 (2011) Professional development for the Welfare State – a shared model or diverse paths? In: 29th International Labour Process Conference (ILPC) 2011, 5-7 Apr 2011, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK. (Unpublished)

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Research into professionals and professionalism has evolved throughout the twentieth century, often related to changes in the positions of professionals in society. The relationship between professionals and governments is now being considered in terms of why states ‘create’ professionals, rather than why professionals ‘capture’ states. Scott argues for an institutional model of professionalism, as an alternative to earlier models, which uses a social constructionist conception of the role of the professions (Scott, 2008: 221). In this formulation, professionals are seen as institutional agents. This is a useful concept for looking at how professionals deal with uncertainty, which may be the result of policy changes and demands for new types of services.

This paper will examine how the state set out to shape the professional development of three groups of professionals - nurses, teachers, social workers - through legislation and institutional developments in the period of the development of the Welfare State (1945-76) and in recent public sector reforms (1976- 2010) in the United Kingdom. These three professional groups have been chosen because a) they underwent extensive changes in training and status during these periods and b) women form the majority of all three professional groups. The period under review covers the setting up of the Welfare state in the 1940s until the 1970s, when the economic crises of 1973 and 1976 triggered challenges to Welfare state expansion, which led to a ‘post-Welfare state’. The effects of this pivotal event were experienced at different times, in the decade of the 1970s, by the three groups because of institutional time-lags.

As all three professionals may be considered an integral part of the Welfare State, the paper will compare the periods under investigation in relation to each professional group and will identify similarities and differences between groups in terms of how the state set out to shape their professional development. This will contribute to studies that look at more than one professional group and explore dimensions of professional development led by the state.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: [1] This paper was scheduled for presentation at the 29th International Labour Process Conference (ILPC) 2011, held 5-7 April 2011, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK. Within the stream - (Re)organizing Professional Work: The Power of Process.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Welfare State, nurses, teachers, social workers
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)
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Last Modified: 17 May 2019 14:00

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